Education News

Meeting together....

The Free Church Education Committee met at the end of March to pray for and plan the next steps in our education strategy. We were hosted, with great welcome, at the Westhill Endowment and had an edifying time of discussion and working together. Our opening devotions, led by our Committee Chair, Julie Grove, were based on Faith Exhibit paintings by Rev Elizabeth Gray-King. You can find out more about hiring these works and other faith based pieces HERE.

Pictured are some of the members of the Free Church Education Committee

You can find out more about our work in the field of education with our Free Church members here and get your church involved in this vital work.

Learning sets us free...

Thirty years ago, I began my first degree in English and Education at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). I had been attending evening classes the previous year to brush up my Maths skills and gain an O level. I was both nervous and excited about this new venture - but once I began, I was amazed at how my mind and heart opened out and my confidence grew, with all the new things I was learning. It felt like a kind of freedom!

It is thirty years since the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) was established. Since it started the Trust has been providing access to broader learning opportunities for prisoners to enhance their chances of building a better life after release.

After I graduated, I spent time as an Education Manager across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire which included managing education contracts for those serving prison sentences (both short and long terms, in youth and adult jails). I had the privilege and honour to see, first hand, the way that men and women actively engaged in all kinds of education and how they like me, had found a new sense of esteem and freedom through this learning. Many years later, I worked alongside a Free Church Prison Chaplain in Gloucestershire and spent time with prisoners who through their church life, worship and educational programmes were building a future full of hope.

In your church you can get involved in volunteering or fundraising for the work of PET. You can find out more information HERE.

PET’s motto is: Every prisoner a learner, every prison a place to learn

Pray with us for the work of PET, as they celebrate thirty years of service to prisoners and for the work of our Free Church Prison Chaplains across the nation.

Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.

Prayer from http://prisonsweek.org/2018-prayer-campaign

Photo courtesy of Steve Halama @ Unsplash

Sara Iles, FCG Education Asst

Religious Education Matters

The FCG, through the Education Team, has had active representation on the RE Council of England and Wales for many years.

The RE Council says: “The ability to understand the faith or belief of individuals and communities, and how these may shape their culture and behaviour, is an invaluable asset for children in modern day Britain. Explaining religious and non-religious worldviews in an academic way allows young people to engage with the complexities of belief, avoid stereotyping and contribute to an informed debate.”

You can find out more about the work of the RE Council and register for its newsletter at the bottom of this page linked HERE.

There are lots of interesting debates, resources and links from across the worlds’ religions in each newsletter. One of those recently featured is from Barnabas in Schools. You may find these materials featuring ideas and worksheets from Christianity Around the World interesting.

You can read more about the Barnabas in Schools resources HERE.

Photo courtesy of Ant Rozetsky at Unsplash

Every school a prayed-for school

The Free Churches Group has been an active partner with Pray for Schools for many years.

The Steering Group of Pray for Schools met earlier in March to pray for and plan for how to engage even more churches in praying for our schools.

Does your church pray for the local schools?

Would you like to find out more? Check out the latest events, resources and news HERE.

Pray for Schools Fortnight is coming up soon - 16-29 May. Find out more and how to get involved HERE.

The steering group is made up of many Christian groups who are involved in education, some of whom are featured in the photo from our latest meeting, which includes partners/guests from:

Open The Book

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Youth for Christ

CARE

Church of England

Scripture Union

ACT

You can read more about the work that FCG are doing in the field of education HERE.

Are you a chaplain working in FE in the West Midlands?

Then this event is for you!

If you’re a chaplain working in an FE college in the West Midlands region, you’re invited to join a conference on Wednesday 15 May at the Priory Rooms, Birmingham! The day includes contributions from Prof. Trevor Cooling (on spiritual development in secular settings), Garry Neave (on the current state of FE chaplaincy), stories from chaplains around the region, and plenty of scope to share ideas and good practice. The conference is organised by Phil Metcalf, WM regional FE chaplaincy ambassador (a three year ecumenically funded role*), and the WM Churches’ FE Council.

You can find out more information and book your place HERE.

The Free Churches Group are committed to developing and enhancing our member churches’ capability to engage with the local FE sector - you can read more about this work HERE.

Please join with us as we continue to pray for the staff and students in our FE sector, particularly our FE chaplains.

Let us pray.

Living God, we pray for students, tutors and support staff in the further education establishments in our area. May students be filled with strength, determination and wisdom to fulfill their potential in their vocational and academic studies.

In the name of Jesus, we pray.

Amen.


You can download and share a helpful little flyer for your church about churches and FE HERE