Schools, nurseries and colleges have a huge impact on local communities. September brings a great opportunity to show the church’s support at a time of new beginnings and transition, often accompanied with anxiety and excitement. Here you’ll find ideas to connect with families and others affected by the start of a new academic year.
September is a really significant time for families with children. The very young may be starting nursery, older ones may be starting school or moving up a class. It’s a great opportunity for the church to stay in touch with families who have had children baptized at the church and show continued support as they grow up.
- The week before the new school term is an opportunity to host a service dedicated to offering a ‘back-to-school’ blessing. Prayers can include all those affected by the new academic year; parents, teachers, pupils, students, as well as nurseries.
- This idea helps to remind people that God is always with us: hand out to those present at the service a luggage label with a special blessing on, and which can be tucked into school bags etc for the first day of school. It’s an idea mentioned on churchofenglandchristenings.org which parents (or even godparents) can also do for children at home.
- If you like the luggage label idea, it could also be used in a school assembly talk too. (For more support with school assemblies, visit the Church of England’s Going for Growth website.)
- Prayer trees have all sorts of uses and could be used as another way to involve all those present at a service to pray for someone they know who is starting or moving up a class at nursery/school/college. See how you can adapt this idea for a school blessing service.
- If you would like to publish the luggage label article in your own parish magazine or on your website, Download it here.
- If your parish has a Church of England school, free free to offer this article to them too, or simply let them know that their church is praying for them as the new term starts.