Collective Worship



St Lawrence Church of England School has a Christian foundation and we welcome families of all faiths, recognising and celebrating the heritage that all families bring to our school.

We recognise the love of God working in this world and that we should respond to this in the way we live.  We learn our value from Christ and presently want to highlight forgiveness and the rebuilding of good and just relationships, humility and honesty and the value of listening.


Please click on the following link to view our Collective Worship Policy:

Collective Worship Policy





Visitor led Collective Worship

Click on the following link for our Collective Worship timetable for summer term 2017:

Summer Term 2017

4th April Rev Jacqueline

We have been practising a song for our Easter service on the last day. It is called ‘Lord of the Dance’.  We looked at hot cross buns. There is a story that goes with the hot cross buns – they made buns with crosses on to eat on Good Friday, they were for the poor and the rich to eat. Then we saw a picture of a Simnel cake, it has 11 marzipan balls to show the real friends. It does not have Judas because he betrayed Jesus. Easter eggs are shaped like the stone that was in front of the tomb. We had some time to think about someone who is very hurt or lonely and we said a prayer for the poor and for all the good food we have. We sang, clapped and danced.

We are having an Easter competition. We can boil an egg and then decorate it.  Rev Jacqueline told us the name of her hard-boiled egg, it is called Breggfast.

This Report is from notes made by pupils, (Elias, Mariella, Isabelle H, Madeleine, Alex, Gemma, Daniel, Molly, Tyler, Chantell and Bethany)  

5th April – Rev Natasha Brady

Today we had Ryan and Florence in y4 drawing self-portraits on blank pieces of paper and Rev Natasha said ‘how well do you know yourself?’  We talked about our senses, I said our noses and some others said eyes, taste, ears and touch. We had a body quiz and the teachers were asked what makes people need glasses. We had a story about a Pharisee who showed off and a tax man. A Pharisee was like a law man and said he was better than the tax man but nobody like him. The tax man knew people didn’t like him because of his job and he tried to help people and I think he was a nicer man. We said a prayer at the end.

This Report is by Bethany and Chantell in y3

26th April – Pastor Ian

We sang ‘Our God is great big God’ and then Pastor Ian asked us what was happening when Jesus was in the cross. We said it was sad and Pastor Ian said it was but it was also like a clean plate. He squirted some red liquid on to a clean plate and said the world was like this, then people messed it up- just like I have made a mess on the plate. When Jesus was born, they called him the Light of the World and He died on the cross for all of us. Pastor Ian then put a candle on the plate, he lit it and put a tall glass over the candle. The red liquid rose up inside the glass and the plate started to be clean again. Pastor Ian said that is like Jesus. When he died, He took all the bad things from the world into Himself. We said a prayer for our school and for the things that happened at Easter

9th May – Rev Peter

Rev Peter asked who has a farm? Jesus lived in the countryside and he told stories about farmers and one was called The Good Sower’. We heard that this farmer sowed the seeds on the dry, bad soil and in the weeds and in good soil and only the seed on the good soil grew. Rev Peter said we could think about the soil being like us and our hearts and minds and we are like the good soil and the bad soil because sometimes we are ready to grow and sometimes we are not ready. We prayed for God’s love and care for us, our friends and our family.

Harley in y4 led the Dismissal.

Report by y3 pupils

10th May – Matt and Sandra Taylor

Matt taught us to use our fingers to remember the 5 words, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ then Sandra asked us if we had ever lost something and how good it feels when you find it.

She said God is like a shepherd and then we sang a song called ‘Oh Fluffy Sheep’. First, we sang it slowly and then we sang it really fast. We listened to the story of the lost sheep, the shepherd had 100 sheep but one night he could only count 99, we helped him count them in 5s but one was missing. Where was Barnabas? Rev Matt said that the shepherd left the 99 and went off to find Barnabas and when he did find him, he was very, very happy

We sang Pastor Ian’s song Our God is a great big God and some of the words and actions were different but Rev Matt said that was ok.

We finished by saying a prayer to Our Heavenly Father the great and good shepherd.

Reported by y3 pupils

17th May – Joel

Joel told us he was thinking about friends, he asked us to think about what we like about our friends. Some children were picked out to go up to the front and held up some letters that spelled out FRIENDS. Joel read a poem and told a story about four friends. We sang a song called ‘This Day’. We had a prayer.

Written by some Y3 pupils who said that this collective worship made them think about;

my friends, (Bethany), being a good friend, (Freddie), what is friendship? (Olivia), my best friend, (Mia)

24th May – Rev Peter

Rev Peter began by asking what was the opposite of some different words. He then asked ‘What is the opposite of Christmas?’ We didn’t know, someone said Christmas Eve but that was not right. We learned that the opposite of Christmas is Ascension Day. This is 40 days after Easter Sunday when Jesus left the Disciples and went up to the top of a mountain and went up into Heaven. We finished with prayers for family and friends, for peace in the world and an end to fighting in some places. The Dismissal was led by Jack from y1 and Dawson from y2.

26th May – Family Praise. (This morning we welcomed Roy, Una, Margaret and Sheila)

Margaret began by asking us to imagine that we had to move house – what would we miss; friends, family, school, our home? Sheila reminded us that we have welcomed quite a number of new friends to our school this term, they have all moved house to be in our village and this has been a change in their lives and in our classes. We then thought about the big change at the end of term when we say ‘Hello’ to our new Head Teacher, Mrs Kate Lawrence, who was with us today, and ‘Goodbye’ to our present Head Teacher, Mrs Riach but we should not think ‘what shall we do when she goes?’ We should think ‘What have we learned while she was at St Lawrence school – what has she taught us and how will we move on together as a school?’

Jesus was moving on and He would miss his friends and they would miss Him. Sheila, Roy and Margaret imagined how the Disciples felt when Jesus had gone. They were frightened and wondered who would lead them, should they hide but if they did that, how could they share His message?  As they prayed for guidance, Una reminded them that Jesus would send His Holy Spirit to guide and support them.

AS we ended our worship, Sheila told us that whilst she had been on holiday in the Holy Land, she had been part of a group who travelled to the River Jordan where soldiers with guns were patrolling the border between Israel and the Palestine kingdom of Jordan. Another group of visitors from China had sang a beautiful hymn to them and Sheila’s group had sung ‘Make me a Channel of your Peace’ in return and the ‘Hello and Goodbye’ between the two groups was completed by the making of the sign of the Cross. We sang the same hymn based on the Payer of St Francis and prayed for God to send the Holy Spirit to guide Mrs Lawrence and our school community as we go forward in September. Roy led prayers for those affected by the recent Manchester bombing and we finished with the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace.



Spring Term 2017

5th January – Mrs Ruth Compton

Mrs Compton asked ‘Who still has their Christmas tree up? Hands were raised and she continued by explaining about the 12 days of Christmas and that the name of the 12th day is Epiphany. This is when we celebrate the Wise Men, or Kings, visiting Jesus but how did they know where to find the baby? ‘They followed a star’ replied a pupil and then a few children acted out the Wise Men being spotted by Herod, who was jealous of this new King and who wanted to harm Him. Joseph had a dream and ran away with Mary to keep Jesus safe and they only returned to Nazareth after Herod died.

Mrs Compton explained how the gifts they offered told of Jesus life to come; Gold for a King, Frankincense for a Holy Person and Myrrh to remind us that Jesus’ death would be important and that God is always us and Jesus is the present that is always present in our lives. Our worship ended with the song ‘Thank you Lord’ and a prayer giving thanks for the happiness of the Christmas we had just celebrated.

10th January – Reverend Peter

Rev Peter also spoke of Epiphany and told a story about gifts.

Three little trees had hopes and dreams of what they would be when they grew up. One wanted his wood to be used to make a chest to hold treasure, the second wanted his wood to be used to build a mighty ship to carry powerful kings and the third dreamed that he would be left to grow strong and so tall that when people looked up at him it would be as if they were raising their eyes to Heaven and they would think of God.

The first tree was cut down and made into a box – but a feed box for animals. The second tree was cut down and turned into a boat – a small boat to sail on a lake. The third tree was cut into strong beams and left.

Time passed and the three trees forgot their dreams but one night, a woman placed her newborn baby into the feed box and the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world. Years later, a tired traveller fell asleep in a boat on a lake and woke to calm a storm that frightened His friends and the second tree know he was carrying the King of Heaven and Earth. Time passed and one Friday morning the third tree was startled when its beams were carried through an angry crowd and placed on a hill and a man was nailed onto them. Later, on Sunday morning, the Earth trembled with joy and the tree came to realise that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

17th January – Reverend Peter

Today, Rev Peter asked volunteers to help him tell the story of the Jesus’ first miracle at the Wedding at Canaan. He asked us what the story teaches us about God and a pupil correctly replied ‘God is very generous’. We thought about this as Rev Peter led prayers for God’s generous love and for those who are hoping and praying for a miracle and ‘in the silence of our hearts,’ we made our own prayers.

18th January – Sue Merrifield

Today we heard the OT story of David and Goliath, which linked with our current value of Courage. Half of the pupils played the part of the Philistines – who thought they would win as they had the giant Goliath on their army. The other half took on the role of the Israelites – who were scared of Goliath. David the shepherd boy, volunteered to fight Goliath. He had courage because he prayed regularly and knew he could trust in God. We saw Goliath come forward to fight David and then David knocked him over and how the Israelites cheered! We learned that David grew up to be a king and his Great, Great, (many times), Grandson was Jesus.

We finished by singing ‘The Journey of Life’ and in our prayers, we asked God to help us be brave and believe in Him.

20th January – Family Praise (Today we welcomed Sheila, Peter, Roy and Una)

We walked in to see the place name Capernaum displayed and Peter told us that our story today, would link with the coming Sunday’s Eucharist about when Jesus started His work. Pupils helped FP leaders act out Jesus calling the disciples to come and be ‘fishers of men’. We saw Andrew, James, John and Simon Peter leaving their nets to follow Jesus and thought how they would be feeling about leaving their family and friends – . ‘sad’, ‘worried they might not see family ever again’, glad to go and find out new things with Jesus’, ‘missing friends’, ‘families might cry’, ‘ would they ever come back?’, ‘excited’.

We thought about our special Bible phrase ‘Let your light shine’ as we finished with prayers for the light of Jesus and gave thanks for the Disciples and prayed for those who live in sadness and darkness as we shared the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace.

24th January – Rev Jacqueline

The ‘Nunc Dimittis’ was playing softly as we walked in to worship this morning. Rev Jacqueline explained that the opening words of this canticle are ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation..’ Forty days had now passed since Christmas and we are at a time in the Church year called Candlemas. This marks a time when people brought candles to church to be blessed and also the time when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to give thanks to God for His safe birth. Simeon, an old man, who had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, was in the Temple and he took Jesus into his arms and spoke the words of the Nunc Dimittis. We wondered how Simeon knew that this was a special baby and saw what others did not and prayed that if we focus on God and open our hearts, we too may see things that are special.

25th January – Rev Matt Taylor

Rev Matt began by asking us to think of what frightens us. He said he is afraid of spiders, snakes and high buildings. Having courage is important and God can give us courage. God helped a man called Gideon who was hiding because he was frightened that his enemies were near. Only God could see him and He sent an angel to Gideon saying ‘God is with you’. Gideon asked for three miracles as proof that God was there and after these three miracles had happened, Gideon was given the courage to be bold. We ended by singing ‘Be bold, be strong, the Lord, your God is with you’ and prayed to God our Father to give us the courage to face our own fears.

1st February – Pastor Ian

On a dull, grey, rainy morning, we began our worship with a rousing version of ‘Our God is a great big God’. Pastor Ian then told us a story about a long, long, long, (many longs) ……time ago – when he was a young man!

Pastor Ian was in Wales, as part of his training for his job and had to go on a long walk carrying a lot of kit which included very heavy camping gear. He loved the training but met up with a chap who was not so keen and who missed his family and friends. Pastor Ian befriended him and started talking to him and as they walked and chatted gradually, this man forgot how sad he was and Pastor Ian realised that sometimes courage is helping others to do something they are afraid of.

We remembered Gideon who was afraid and asked God for help to face his fears and as Pastor Ian told us how (even) Jesus had prayed and asked God for help on the day He was put on the cross. We ended our worship with a prayer thanking God for those who have the courage to ask and also to offer help and with prayers for our school.

7th February – Rev Peter

Rev Peter came in carrying boots, a helmet and goggles and asked ‘I wasn’t here last week, can you guess from these clues where I was?’ ‘Roller skating?’ – ‘No’ ’Walking?’– ‘No’ ‘Skiing?’ ‘Yes. We were asked to consider how these items could protect our bodies so that ‘we can’t hurt ourselves if we fall over. Rev Peter then shared a story about a tower, in a place where everyone spent their lives looking down and never saw the tower. One day a man who was walking in this place fell over and as he lay on the ground, he looked up, he saw the tower and quickly made his way towards it and was amazed at it and wondered how many people had never noticed it.

We should always remember that God is with us, through the highs and the lows, the looking up and the looking down. Rev Peter then shared an example of an Olympian’s life. He had heard James Cracknell speak about his highs and lows. The rowing champion and double Olympic gold medallist, explained that  he had been chosen to represent Great Britain at the age of 16 but he couldn’t go to the Olympics because he sustained an injury shortly before. The second time he was chosen to row in the Olympics, he was ill and couldn’t take part but the third time, in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he won a gold medal.

We finished with prayers for our beautiful world where we can see God in everything around us and we asked God to help all those in need and care and for those who do the caring.

8th February – Rev Natasha Brady

As we went in some jazz music was playing which made us all wiggle to Rev Natasha’s delight. She began by asking us did we have courage. She then showed us courage by holding a glass of water and placing a piece of paper over the top and …..inverting the glass…..and taking her hand away!! There were spontaneous gasps as the water did not splash on the floor and Natasha said ‘I was able to do that because I trusted in the creator of our world and that gave me courage to believe in the power of gravity.

We then heard the story of Jonah and the Whale. Jonah ran away from his challenge because he did not have the courage to do God’s work. The whale swallowed him and that gave him time to think so that when he was back on dry land, he went to Nineveh and told the people to behave and stop making God angry. In our prayers, we remembered that it is not easy to be courageous and each of us was invited to think or speak a silent hope that we would be courageous enough to ………?.  Courage comes from God and we as ked Him to help us to be courageous in all things.



Click on the following link for our Collective Worship timetable for 2016 autumn term 1:

Collective Worship Timetable – Autumn Term 1 2016

Collective Worship Timetable – Autumn Term 2

Autumn Term 2016

21st September Matt and Sandra Taylor

As we entered. Matt was sitting enjoying a packet of crisps which he didn’t share- he was not generous. He asked ‘Have you ever felt really hungry, can you imagine not eating for days? We heard the story of Elijah and the generous lady of Zarephath and with the aid of flour, oil and bread, we learned that at a time of famine; the woman’s generosity with her limited food meant  that miraculously, her flour and oil lasted and lasted because God was generous and cared and provided for her and her family. We sang ‘You are my God and I will praise you’ and finished with a prayer from Matt. Mrs Compton led the blessing and dismissal.

23rd September – Family Praise

Peter, Roy and Una told us that at church this coming Sunday, they would be thinking about a story Jesus told about a rich man who wore fine clothes and who like fine food but who did not share any of his good fortune with others who did not have enough. (John 5 v 39-47). Outside this man’s gate, sat Lazarus, a poor man, begging. One day, Lazarus died and was taken by the angels to be looked after by Abraham. On the same day, the rich man died too and he was taken by an angel to another place where there was no one to look after him and he began to realise what it was like to suffer and not be helped.

The rich man asked the angel if a messenger could be sent to his house to warn his brothers to change their ways, otherwise they too would be alone. The angel replied that the brothers should read their Bible and learn how to change from what they read. The rich man asked if Lazarus could rise from the dead and speak to his brothers but he angel refused saying that if the brothers could not learn from the teachings in the Bible, then seeing Lazarus again would not persuade them to change.

Peter left us with the thought ‘What does this story mean for us…..?’

We sang Kum By Yah and Roy lead us in prayers for forgiveness

28th September – Pastor Ian   

We began by singing ‘Our God is a great big God’ and Pastor Ian talked about ‘loving our neighbour’ and asked what we wear on our feet and what Jesus might have worn? The pupils gave the answer ‘sandals’

Wearing these would have left Jesus’ feet dirty and even though Jesus’ friends did not even wash their own feet, Jesus washed theirs and said He wanted to show how much He loved them. By doing that Jesus used the words we know so well ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Pastor Ian left us with the thought that no job is too unimportant to show people that we love them and we finished with a song and a prayer.

12th October – Rev Matt Taylor

Matt began by telling us about a man called Blondin who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Blondin asked the crowd ‘Do you have faith that I can do this?’ The whole crowd answered ‘Yes!’ then Blondin asked ‘Who has the faith to sit on my shoulder while I cross?’ and only his manager had the faith in him to say, ‘I do’

Matt then told us we have to have faith in lots of everyday things; in cars to get us to places, in teachers to teach us …and so on. He then told us the story of the Centurion and his sick servant and some children helped act it out. Centurions, who were also tax collectors in those times, were not very popular. The Centurion said to Jesus, ‘Lord, my servant is sick’. Jesus was surprised to be called ‘Lord’ by the Centurion and offered to heal the servant. The Centurion felt unworthy to have Jesus in his house and said ‘Lord, if you just say the words, I have faith that my servant will be healed’.

Matt asked us if we had that much faith and suggested that Faith is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets and said that ‘Faith’ is believing in something that you can’t see.

We finished with a prayer and the song ‘God loves Me’

19th October – Rev Natasha Brady, assisted by Joel (trainee vicar)

As we entered there was a picture on the screen of the 10 Lepers. The worship began with Rev Natasha holding up some sticking plasters. She asked, ‘What are these for?’  ‘Who do you call out for when you hurt yourself?’ ‘What might you say when you are made better?’

Rev Natasha then told us the story of the 10 Lepers with the aid of a paperchain of people. She explained leprosy and how people were afraid of lepers. The lepers were told by Jesus to show themselves to priests in the village and as they walked into the village, they were healed and were very excited to be living amongst people again. One of the lepers went back to Jesus and thanked Him. Jesus said ‘Rise up, your faith has healed you’ Natasha reminded us that Thankfulness came from Faith.

We finished with a prayer of thanks and the song: ‘I praise the Lord every day’ (animated by actions). Ruth Compton thanked our visitor and led the Blessing and the Dismissal.

21st October – Family Praise

Today we welcomed Roy, Peter, Sheila and Una. Sheila began our worship by telling us that on this coming Sunday, people from the church and the chapel would be worshipping together at St Lawrence Church.

Sheila reminded us that she had been on holiday at the time of the previous Family Praise. Sheila went on to say that she loves to read on holiday and she particularly likes reading historical novels.  Maybe we had heard of one of the characters from the last book she read – Margaret Beaufort; the mother of Henry VII, who lived just a few miles from our school?

Sheila then showed us a favourite book of her grandchildren ‘Superworm’ by Julia Donaldson. Una shared a favourite book of her son ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ and Peter said his son had particularly liked a non-fiction book called ‘Inventions’. Peter then asked if any of us read books on an iPad as his wife, Mary, does now? He then showed us a family Bible that belonged to his grandfather; it was large and obviously heavy. Una compared that Bible with a much smaller one that had been her mother’s and which had very small print, and Peter showed us his wife’s Bible which was compact enough to sit on a shelf. Roy read a part of this coming week’s Lectionary, reading from one of the Pew Bibles from St Lawrence Church. The reading mentioned another kind of book and told of Jesus reading the scrolls of Isiah.

Una summed up our worship by concluding that a Bible is like a neighbour – if you know your neighbour, than you get on really well and if we don’t get to know the Bible, how can we know Jesus? We must open our eyes, ears and hearts to the words of Jesus.

We sang ‘Open our eyes, Lord’ and Roy led our prayers, thanking Jesus for listening to us.

Pupils really enjoy Family Praise, ‘I do like it because I know them’, ‘Peter tells good stories and it’s sometimes funny’ and were intrigued by the contrast between Una’s ‘teeny Bible with tiny writing..’ and the ‘ ..very big and heavy too ..’ Bible of Peter’s grandfather.

2nd November – Rev Rachel Hawkins

Rev Rachel began with the greeting, ‘The peace of the Lord be always with you..’ and then asked if we knew what peace was. Pupils from all classes shared their ideas – peace is ‘quiet’, ‘at the end of war’, ‘feeling calm’ sitting still’ and ‘ the time after a big noise’. We then watched a short video clip of the story of Zacchaeus who cheated the tax payers… (boo!)…and heard that because of that, he thought Jesus would not want to meet him. Of course, as the Bible tells us, Jesus not only spoke to Zacchaeus but went to his house. Jesus helped Zacchaeus to make peace with the taxpayers and help him to change and Jesus can help us to find peace and change our ways too. We prayed for God to fill us with peace.

8th November – Rev Jacqueline

Our first worship led by Reverend Jacqueline also took Peace as its theme.  We began with a game ‘…for adults here who remember the Generation Game’, said Jacqueline as a few staff smiled wryly. Various objects appeared in rapid succession on the screen and the children were asked to recall as many as they could, (toy soldier, the word ‘peace’, a gun, a teddy, ..etc).  These were quickly sorted into 2 sets –those linked with Remembrance and those not linked. We watched a short clip from a service of Remembrance which ended with the words of Laurence Binyon’s ‘Ode of Remembrance’, (a stanza from his poem ‘For the Fallen’). ‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them’ This was followed by the poignant notes of the Last Post.

 9th November – Rev Matt Taylor assisted by Joel (an Ordinand)

The words, ‘Trust God’, were shown on the screen as we walked in. ‘Who can we trust?’ asked Matt, ‘Can I trust you Joel with this bar of chocolate?’ Joel assured Matt he was trustworthy but as he passed the chocolate to Joel, Matt mused that sometimes people let us down. We then listened to the story of Abraham and Sarah who left their home because they trusted the God who asked them to travel to Canaan and make a great nation. Everything God said came true and we were reminded that we too can trust God to guide and lead us. We sang ‘Father Abraham had many sons’, a deceptively simple song that involved the shaking of arms, legs and heads and much laughter.

11th November – the St Lawrence School Service of Remembrance 

Reverend Jacqueline, Sheila Lewis and Roy and Una, welcomed pupils from YR – Y4 to our church today. Several pupils immediately reached for the Pew Bibles like the one Roy had shared with us at the last Family Praise, (21st Oct), and pointed them out to friends sitting close.

Rev Jacqueline reminded us of our school worship which she led earlier in the week, which had the theme of Peace. Mrs Lewis then spoke to us about the sacrifices made in times of war; not only by those who serve, but also the sacrifices of those who willingly took the jobs left by those who went off to fight; the women who went to work in the factories, the farm workers who grew the crops to feed the country and the children and parents who were separated by evacuation when life in areas that were bombed, became so very dangerous.

We finished with a prayer for peace and an end to conflict in the world and then processed to the War Memorial to lay a poppy wreath made by y2 pupils. Rev Jacqueline spoke the words of the ‘Ode of Remembrance, we all echoed the final words ‘We will remember them’ and then kept our 2 minutes’ silence.

16th November – Pastor Ian Fall

Today, Pastor Ian asked the children, “What we do if we want to plant a seed?” One of the pupils replied that we put it in the ground, then water it. Pastor Ian said that was ok if we were only planting one seed but nowadays farmers use machinery to plant many, many seeds. He went on to describe how Jesus told us that many years ago, farmers used to walk up and down scattering seeds. Some would land on good soil; some would land on the rocky paths and some would land under bushes. The seeds on the good soil would grow to full strength nad keep growing, the seeds under the bushes would only grow a bit and the seeds on the rocks could not grow at all.

We are all growing and learning all the time, a bit like seeds and we need to make sure that we are ready to grow and learn and not worrying and distracted so that we do not grow as much as we could.

We finished with the St Lawrence School Prayer.

22nd November – Reverend Peter

This was Rev Peter’s first opportunity to lead our worship in school and as the candles were lit and our worship began, Rev Peter reminded us that God is with us and Jesus is shining in our hearts.

‘Who is the most important person you have ever met?’ he asked. ‘Jesus’ was the reply, and we agreed that we do meet Him in stories from the Bible. ‘Chris Wood’ – the Leeds Utd and New Zealand striker was one reply and ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ another – ‘he inspires me’ said a pupil and there followed a flurry of other sports ‘legends’. Peter said that some people would like to meet the Queen and we thought about what she does ‘…make the laws?’, ‘…’look after us?’…’ protect our country?’ We all agreed that the Queen is very wealthy and sometimes – in some places – wealthy people like Kings and Queens are treated in a special way. Rev Peter told us that Jesus is a different kind of King; He isn’t ‘into’ wealth or power. To Jesus, everyone is special and everyone is equal. We then heard the Parable of the Unknown God; a kind and gentle God who watched over a village and regularly gave gifts to each of the people who lived there, quietly waiting for a kindly word from them but after a while. they tired of these gifts and complained, ‘What has he ever done for us? ‘This God then thought he would invite them all to a party but so many just laughed and said they were too busy to go, that even those who thought they might attend, did not and so they all just carried on and seldom thought about this gentle God who loved them very much.

We finished with a prayer constructed around the fingers of one hand. Touching each finger in turn, starting with the little finger, we prayed for the weak who need our help, then for friends, family and neighbours. We then prayed for our leaders and those who look after us, then for the people who do not have anyone to love and care for them and finally, holding our thumbs, we remembered the difficult to reach people, the ones who need our prayers most.

25th November – Family Praise

Mrs Riach welcomed Roy, Una, Sheila and Peter to lead our worship this morning. Peter played an extract from the catchy song ‘Ready Or Not Here I Come’ originally by The Delfonics, (1968), and most recently covered by Laura Mvula. This tune is currently being used in the Debenhams Christmas Advert, (other stores’ Christmas adverts are available), and we heard it today because the big question is Are we ready for Advent? – which is from the Latin meaning arrival. This is the first season of the new Church year and this coming Sunday is the first of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day.

Roy and Una told us that during Advent the church is undecorated, except for an Advent Wreath of 4 candles encircling a central candle. They focussed on our school advent wreath, sometimes called an Advent Crown, and explained that this Sunday the first candle on the St Lawrence Church Advent Wreath will be lit. The 1st , 2nd and 4th candles are purple and represent, respectively, Hope – that God will send Jesus, Preparation – getting ready to welcome Jesus, and Love – God’s love as he sends His Son. The 3rd candle is pink and represents Joy-, the shepherds joy at the news of the birth. On Christmas Day, the last candle, the white candle at the centre of the wreath, will be lit and this one celebrates the birth of Jesus.

We lit our first candle – the candle of ‘hope’ and Sheila reminded us that Christmas means lots of different things for different people. It can mean time with friends and family, celebration food and Christmas cards to send and receive and surprises. Sheila then surprised us by singing and demonstrating the clapping rhyme, ‘Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat …’. and shared her granddaughters’ perpetual Advent Calendar which has pockets for little surprise gifts with an extra surprise in the last pocket!

‘So’, said Peter, ‘are you ready?’ As he said this, Peter threw an apple to Sheila which she caught – and Sheila confessed that she and Peter had practised that bit. Peter then threw a ball to Una – who had not been primed – and to everyone’s delight, she deftly caught it!

Peter drew our worship to an end by reminding us that if we learn as much as possible, we will be ready from Jesus, we will be ready for anything in our lives.

We finished by singing ‘This Little Light of Mine’ – with actions – and Roy brought our worship to a close with prayers for our ‘watching and waiting’, for ‘forgiveness’ because we are not always good at waiting and for the hope that we learn to have trust and faith. We then shared the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace.

29th November – Reverend Peter

Rev Peter began by calling a pupil forward to light the large candle that is lit for every worship time and reminded us that we light this candle to remind us of the presence of the Lord. Another pupil then lit the first of the candles on the Advent Wreath – the one that had been lit last Friday during Family Praise – and we looked forward to Christmas.

30th November – Rev Natasha Brady

Rev Natasha and Joel invited pupils to come and light the Advent candles and we discussed all kinds of lights as we celebrated Jesus as the ‘light of the world’.  Rev Natasha told us that Jesus said that ‘those who follow Me will never live in the darkness’ and asked us to think about what it meant to shine light. We held our hands open flat and imagined a light in our hands as we prayed to follow Jesus

13th December – Rev Jacqueline

Today we heard the story of St Nicholas – a rich man who gave away his wealth to those who did not have enough. St Nicholas is known as a protector of children and sailors and stands for generosity, love and giving. Jesus is our wonderful gift from God and we prayed that God would light our days with love and joy.

14th December – Rev Matt Taylor

Matt and Joel began by sharing really corny Christmas jokes and then invited pupils to help them pull a large cracker. As the cracker split in two, we noticed that the word CHRISTMAS that was written on the cracker was also split into two – CHRIST (meaning Jesus, the Saviour of the world) and MAS (meaning ‘telling the message’). We finished by singing ‘Go tell it on a mountain’ and with a prayer thanking God for everything that Christmas means to us, including the good news message.



Summer Term 2016

Wednesday 20th April  – Rev Rachel Hawkins

Rev Rachel was introduced to the children and began by asking “What does this collar mean?”

The children replied that it meant she worked in a church. Rachel started to write something on some flip chart paper but it kept rolling up and she then asked for help. “What is your value?”  She asked. When she heard it was responsibility, Rachel wondered who could help her spell that. The children replied that a teacher could help. Rachel then asked what did our value mean and we discussed some of the thoughts. To end the worship, Rev Rachel asked for volunteers to help her tell the story of the Good Samaritan – who took responsibility and helped.

Friday 22nd April – Family Praise with Petr, Una, Roy and Sheila

Sheila spoke to us about how helpless we are when we are born but how we grow and learn to do things for ourselves as we become more confident and independent.  Sometimes we move away from our friends and families as we grow older and life is full of hellos and goodbyes, sadness and happiness and often parents will give us advice or instructions as we leave. The pupils volunteered a selection of advice they thought they might get  – clean your teeth/be good/don’t play all day/look after your sister/keep your toys tidy/ put stuff away …and so on.

There was a time when Jesus had to tell the disciples that He was going away, they did not feel independent and they wanted instructions about what to do. Jesus left one instruction only ‘To love one another as I have loved you’ which was the song we sang.

Roy led the prayers and blessing and told us that on that coming Sunday, the Family Service had the wonderful celebration of 4 baptisms – more than he had ever known in one service.

Wednesday 11th May – Pastor Ian

All the Nursery children joined us for Pastor Ian’s worship today. He began by asking ‘What are we doing when we pray?’ The children responded by saying ‘talking to God’, Ian said that he talks to God in his prayers and that Jesus spent a great deal of time talking to God.  Jesus’ friends asked Him to show them how to pray and He did. Ian also asked the pupils ‘What do we do if we make mistakes?’ ‘Rub it out!’, ‘Tell the truth’, ‘Say sorry’ and ‘listen when someone says sorry to you’, were the responses. Ian ended today’s collective worship by reminding us that we can talk to Jesus, our Father God’ at any time and then lead us in our school prayer.

Wednesday 18th May – Sue Merrifield

Sue began by saying that it’s been exactly 50 days since Easter and last Sunday was Pentecost, she asked us if we knew what that meant and then said it was like a ‘Happy Birthday for all of us who worship.

She reminded us that Jesus had gone up into Heaven and the Disciples were feeling a bit fed up, Jesus had said He would send someone to help them. Suddenly the Holy Spirit was amongst them – this was their present from Jesus. Sue unwrapped a present and showed us the word ‘Power’. The power of Holy Spirit allowed  the Disciples to teach all people about Jesus regardless of their native language and reminds us that we maynot see the Holy Spirit but we can see what it does.

Wednesday 25th May – Ruth Compton

Ruth began our worship by teaching the children how to respond the greeting ‘The Lord be with you’. All staff are encouraged to use this if they feel comfortable with it.  Ruth showed the children the number 3 and we then looked for the ‘3ness’ in a variety of pictures. (triangle, triceratops, …). This reminds us of ….the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son who lived with us on Earth and God the Holy Spirit who lives in in our hearts.

Friday 27th May – Family Praise, (Roy, Peter, Una and Margaret)

Peter showed 3 overlapping shapes and, again, we shared tri- words and Margaret reminded the Brownies of the Trefoil. We heard the story from the OT about a group of people who were having a hard time. They were living as slaves and a man called Moses came and told them to move away from this life and start a new life in a different place. Many years later, people followed Jesus looking for a new life and then He left and they  discovered something in their hearts and minds , (the Holy Spirit), that made them carry on His work. This gave us a new understanding of the Trinity – God, the God who called us out of slavery, Jesus, the God who came to live amongst us and The Holy Spirit, the God who talks to us in our hearts. We finished by singing ‘Father we adore you’ and Roy led the prayers.

Wednesday 8th June – Pastor Ian

Pastor Ian asked us if we had seen the tremendous rain and lightning and heard the thunder recently. His new dog Barney had never seen weather like this before so was not at all sure about it but Ian’s wife said it was ‘awesome’. Ian told us he loves taking Barney for walks and has a favourite place to visit because the view is so beautiful, amazing and ..‘awesome.’ Ian then thanked us for listening so respectfully to him and said that when we appreciate our surroundings, we appreciate and respect our ‘awesome’ God who listens to us and speaks to us through the beauty of our world. We finished with a prayer and a song.

Wednesday 15th June – Rev Natasha Brady

Rev Natasha began by asking what a friend looks like. Pupils responded with suggestions …they hold hands…they smile…they help …they open doors for us …they sit next to us … Natasha summed it all up by saying that friends are like Superheroes who are there to help us all. She then told the story of four friends who had such faith that they lowered their paralysed friend through a hole in a roof just to get him close to Jesus, believing that he would be cured (Mark 2:4).

24th June Family Praise   

This morning we welcomed Roy, Una, Peter and Sheila. They told the story of the Journey of the Passover from Luke ch 9, when followers who wanted to join and follow Jesus, found themselves left behind because they could not put day-to-day preoccupations before following the Lord.  One had a funeral to arrange and the other had to say goodbye to family but both were firmly told that the time to follow Jesus was now and if they couldn’t do that now, then it would be too late.

We finished with the School prayer, the Lord’s Prayer and the Blessing


Visitor led Collective Worship Autumn 2015 into Spring 2016


18th November:  Natasha Brady, Curate at St Mary’s Rushden

Natasha led our worship on the theme of kindness which sits alongside our current SEAL topic of Getting On and Falling Out. She used the story of ‘a Treasure Chest of Precious Gems and began with a question – ‘Where do we find these gems?’ Natasha told us a story of a man who bought a field. In it was buried a chest and inside the chest were written the words; friendship, caring, goodness, love, sharing, peace and kindness. She went on to explain that God’s kingdom is like this treasure chest and that our thoughts and actions linked with these words, become all God’s treasures.


9th December: Matt Taylor from St Mary’s Church, Rushden.

As we entered the Hall, Matt was strumming on his guitar and soflty singing ‘Emmanuel’. He began by asking us “Are you looking forward to Christmas?”  He wondered about all the decorations on the outside of houses and mentioned Advent Calendars – what day were we on? Matt then explained that Advent is a waiting time and said that he needed our help to read a story about someone who was waiting and getting ready for something special. As Matt read the story of the Angel visiting Mary to tell that her that she was to have a special baby, we were asked to say ‘Gloria’ every time we heard the word ‘Angel’, ‘how much?’ when Matt said ‘very’…and so on, which was great fun. Matt left us with the thought that, even today; this birth is good news for all who believe. We sang ‘Emmanuel, (God is with us) and finished with a prayer.


Mrs Ruth Compton, EYFS Teaching Assistant

For Epiphany, (explained as a special happening), Mrs Compton began by asking “What is our value for this new month?” (Hope). She then explained that hope is ‘expecting and wanting something to happen’. She wondered if we had had any visitors over the holiday and then asked “Who was the special baby who had visitors?” With the help of pupils as actors, Mrs Compton reminded us about the visitors who came to worship this baby. Some came on the night of Jesus’ birth and some came later, (up to two years later), some visitors were from nearby and some from far away, some were poor and some were rich, some were told of the birth by an angel and some followed a star but they were all filled with Hope. Mrs Compton bought our worship to an end by explaining that this shows us that this baby came for all of us, rich and poor, from near and far …etc. to bring Hope to everyone. We listened as she ended with Herod and the angel’s warning to Joseph and to the Wise Men to go ‘another way home’.   We said The Lord’s Prayer and sang and signed, a song ‘May the God of Hope fill us with Joy’.


13th Jan Pastor Ian,

Pastor Ian began by showing us photos of him on a boat.  The sea was rather choppy and one photo showed the boat being lifted by the waves so that all we could see was the sky and the other photo showed the next waves rising up and all we could see was sea! Ian told us he thought he might need a lifejacket and was getting a bit worried but then realised that he did not have to worry at all. The captain of the ship was calm, relaxed and chatty and that gave Ian hope, (our value this month). Ian explained that this is like the promise that God gives us – even if things get difficult, He will walk with us and everything will be well. Some people call that hope or trust or faith. Ian linked this with the story of the storm on Lake Galilee when Jesus was woken by the frightened disciples. We finished with the school prayer and thanked God for the hope He gives us that ‘all will be well’.


20th Jan, Matt Taylor

As Matt began, he was holding a bottle of water and explained we were going to celebrate Jesus’ first miracle. “Had we any firsts to celebrate?”

Mary had been telling Jesus that he really should let people know how special he was but He simply replied that he was not ready yet. Then one day, the wine ran out at a wedding and Jesus called a servant to go and get a jug of water and take it t to the host. Of course, the water had been turned into the best wine.  To illustrate this Matt poured water into a red wine glass and then poured the water in another glass – it was now red liquid – like wine. He explained that to turn his water into wine, he had already put a few drops of red food colouring into the red glass but Jesus does not need such tricks to show us that He really is God as well as Man and listens and hears us when we pray to Him. We finished with a prayer and sang ‘Our God is a great big God’.


22nd Jan Family Praise

The worship began with Una playing ‘the Swan’ from the Carnival of the Animals .Peter then told us about the Bible readings for this coming Sunday, (the 3rd Sunday in Epiphany) which tell of  Jesus’ return to Nazareth as a grown up and how He had plans that God had given Him, His ‘Good News for the Poor.

Sheila asked us to think back to the last Family Praise, when we learned about ‘Who is in Charge’ and we thought about the time when Pontius Pilate had tried to trick Jesus about being in charge – being a king. The pupils were then asked about what would be in their plan if they were in charge in the village. Favourite themes from many children were about too much traffic and litter in the village, not enough care for nature and too many/too few houses. We finished with Roy leading the prayers and the Blessing and sang ‘He’s got the Whole World in His Hands’


10th Feb Ash Wednesday

Matt was tossing a pancake as we walked in, he explained that yesterday, Shrove Tuesday, was a day when traditionally, people finished off all the rich food in their house and ate more simply for the period of 40 days and 40 nights of Lent. During this time, Jesus was in the desert and we saw a short clip from ‘The Miracle Maker’ DVD which showed Jesus resisting the voice of temptation. Matt described this time for Jesus as like that of an athlete preparing for the challenge of a competition. He then told us that in preparation for today, Ash Wednesday, he had burned last year’s Palm Cross and would be using the ash, mixed with a little bit of oil, to make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of members of his congregation at St Mary’s. Matt had asked for pre-identified pupils to come forward and be ‘ashed’ as he spoke the words ‘turn around and follow Jesus’. Afterwards, Matt, staff and pupils agreed that the ashing had been a very simple, spiritual moment in today’s worship.  “He told us the meaning of Ash Wednesday”, “I liked it when he made the cross on my forehead and said those words to show us what Ash Wednesday means”


11th Feb, worship led by Mrs Compton

Mrs Compton looked back at Matt’s worship yesterday and talked about Lent. She explained that Sundays are not counted as part of Lent and then spoke about the video clip we saw. Could we do something for Lent – either by giving something up or doing good deeds for 40 days. The children came up with many ideas and Mrs Compton linked this time in the Church year as linking with ‘Faith’ – trying to be the best we can be and shared developments in the Ethos group who have chosen the verse “Let You Light Shine” as their watchwords.


26th February Family Praise

Peter, Una, Roy and Sheila led our worship this morning. Sheila began by welcoming Mrs Pauline Cameron from Christopher Reeves Lower School in Podington who had come to see how Family Praise enhances worship in our school Sheila also welcomed a y3 pupil who has been absent from our school for several weeks and is still too unwell to come back full time. This pupil has been seriously ill and she has been in our thoughts and prayers at school and in church.

Sheila continued by explaining that today we were going to think about ‘How do things grow?’. We heard that Una had bought a grape vine but was returning it as it had not grown. Sheila pointed out that this was because Una had not cared for it as the label recommended. Peter told us that this linked with this Sunday’s Bible story about a Fig tree which would not grow. The owner wanted to cut it down but his gardener said ‘give it another chance’. This is what Jesus says to us –  He gives us a second chance. We sang ‘The Butterfly Song’ and Roy led the prayers. For the first prayer, the members of Family Praise began by facing each other in a circle, sharing a prayer. They then stood with their backs to each other to remind us that that we should always think of others when we pray.


2nd March Pastor Ian (links with our March Value of Love)

We began by singing ‘Our God is a great big God’. Then Pastor Ian asked ‘What do we mean by love?’ Pupils replied ‘love is about God’, ‘love is if you really like someone’. Ian told us that Jesus told His Disciples, (disciples defined here by Ian as someone who listens to what others say), that “people will know that you follow Me, if you love one another”

Ian then asked us to look at our hands and think of all the ways in which we could use them. He asked ‘Does anyone know what God has on his hands?’  The answer is, our names. They are written on the palm of His hands because He cares for us all. Ian asked, “Could I fit everybody’s name on my hands?” “No!” came the reply “So imagine”, said Ian, “what a great big God he must be”

We finished with a prayer thanking God for loving us and helping us to love one another and shared the ‘Amen’ which all pupils know means ‘I agree’