The Mother’s Union in Bishop’s Waltham used a programme devised by the Diocese of Gloucester, and invited the Year 6 classes at their local junior school to visit St Peter’s Church during school time to experience the true meaning of Easter.
The children were warmly welcomed at the door, and then seated at the front of church to hear a brief account of Holy Week. Then in small groups of five or six, they travelled with their teacher or helper to look at the six stations around the church which each represented an event in Holy Week. A member of Mothers’ Union was at each station to explain in more detail what happened at that particular event and then gave the children an opportunity to respond reflectively through multisensory activities.
There was one station in the main aisle decorated with palms for the entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, another focussed on Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and a third, the Last Supper. A corner of the church was decorated with plants and rocks and became the Garden of Gethsemane and in the opposite corner they set up the crucifixion scene. All of the groups came together in the chancel for the final station, the Resurrection. They built an empty tomb guarded by an angel under the main alter and used the choir stalls to seat the children.
Each child left with a goody bag that included an Easter egg and colourful invitation to return to St. Peter’s on Good Friday for a children’s workshop and on Easter Sunday for a family service. There was also an Easter card and a leaflet outlining their regular children’s activities and groups. The children and the team really enjoyed the experience saying it was, ‘Brilliant!’ For more information on Experience Easter and to buy resources email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Gloucester.anglican.org