Jesus’ words (in John 4: 23-24) tell us that true worshippers must worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’. This challenges us to make sure our worship has two characteristics: first, that it both transforms and looks beyond the world of the everyday and the material, and second, that it is real and relevant for those who are involved.
A dynamic Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple (1881-1944), said this about worship: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Because of our foundation as a church school and our on-going commitment to our Christian ethos we want to worship and we want our children to have the opportunity to learn to worship, and to grow in their self-perception and their perception of God. We believe that our children are ‘made in the image of God’, and that worship is a vital factor in this image becoming more real, and more what it is meant to be, as they grow in their love and understanding of God.
We believe that the heart of Collective Worship provides the opportunity for pupils and staff and others such as governors and parents, to come together, to sing and pray, to share and communicate their feelings with one another and to God. It takes us beyond ourselves towards an encounter with the living God; this can be an exciting time for all of us.
Our central aims for Collective Worship are:
- To provide an opportunity for pupils to reflect upon and give honour to God.
- To foster feelings such as awe, wonder, thankfulness, mystery and joy.
- To highlight and nurture the spiritual dimension through experiencing worship.
- To provide pupils with a vocabulary of worship and an experience of a wide variety of Christian worship forms, including symbols and imagery.
- To provide an opportunity to celebrate major, and some minor, Christian festivals.
- To share with pupils the central teachings of the Christian faith at an appropriate level and thereby encourage them to explore and reflect on their own beliefs and understanding of God.
- To allow pupils to become familiar with a variety of worship in the Anglican tradition, according to their developmental stage.
- To provide an opportunity for children to become acquainted with people from the local and wider community, particularly the local churches.
- To enable children to appreciate their worth and value to God and to the community and to respect the integrity of all individuals as being made ‘in the image of God’.
- To enable pupils to make effective use of silence in opportunities for reflection, contemplation, meditation and prayer.
- To establish, explore, and reinforce the common Christian values of the school community such as love, peace, kindness, compassion.
- To provide an opportunity to bring before God in prayer personal needs and those of others.
- To help pupils develop respect and sensitivity to the beliefs and values of others.
- To celebrate gifts, talents and achievements.