Engaging Schools in the Easter Story

In a nutshell

 

An exciting walk through Holy Week to engage 250 junior school children in the story of Easter. 

Who has done it?

St Polycarp’s Church, Malin Bridge in Sheffield

How did it work?

 

 

 

 

 

Two church leaders went into four local schools to teach them some songs, make palm leaves and to choose the 12 disciples. Then, on the day, groups of 60 Year 5 and Year 6 pupils arrived at church and heard and saw the beginnings of Palm Sunday events, so they sang and waved their palm leaves as Jesus (one of the church leaders) arrived, followed by the chosen 12 disciples. After a re-enactment of Jesus overturning the temple tables and an explanation that he stood for justice and truth, the children broke into two groups: one group did Easter crafts, the other went to an inside gazebo where they shared a Passover meal and Jesus washed the disciples feet.
 
The next corner was Gethsemane where the school children watched a video of Jesus at prayer and heard the story of the soldiers arresting Jesus. He was marched off to another corner, which was draped in black, with a large cross. The church’s Lay Reader dressed in a centurion’s costume, dramatically told the story of the crucifixion. He ended with the striking words, ‘Despite all I had done to him, the beating, nailing him to the cross, he looked at me with such love.’ After such a powerful moment the children went off quietly for refreshments and then to the crafts. The other group then participated in the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
 
For the final scene, the front of the church was transformed into the empty tomb with two leaders explaining that they were going to anoint Jesus. Then Mary saw the risen Jesus – the church erupted into celebration, dancing and singing ‘Jesus is alive’ with all the kids joining in!

 

The Outcome

 

There was very positive feedback from the pupils and teachers and the schools have asked whether they can come back next Easter!