For the third year running we have arranged for the whole of year 7 from Hitchin Boys’ School to visit three local churches; Christchurch, Hitchin Christian Centre and St Mary’s. They have been learning about places of worship in their RE lessons and so to come and visit the churches and hear from members of the congregations helps to really bring it to life for the students. The churches are asked to talk about how they worship, each church brings their own flavour that creates a great mix of ideas and examples of how Christians worship and what it means to them.

I spent the afternoon going around with one of the groups and it was great to hear their discussions as they were walking between churches. It really broadens their views of what church is and what it involves. As we were returning to school one student commented that he had ‘a great afternoon, a very eye opening time.’

Here is what the head of RE at Hitchin Boy’s Schools had to say about the afternoon:

“Since we have been running this trip we’ve noticed a substantial improvement in the boys understanding of worship in it’s different forms which has been evident in the assessment they do following the visit. They are able to give examples to support their views.
Most of the boys are surprised at the differences in the churches as they often have a stereotypical view about churches and methods of worship.
Seeing something for themselves makes it easier to relate to and understand rather than reading about it from a textbook.”

Hearing this highlights the importance of Phase being actively involved in the schools; to help give students a chance to question, exlpore and breakdown stereotypes of what it means to be a Christian and the role of the church in todays society.