Christ Church Cathedral Sunday School is a very happy, fun and safe place for children to learn and grow as young Christians. The Sunday School is led by an experienced primary school teacher with a particular passion for helping children express themselves through music, drama and art. We were all particularly proud of our percussion orchestra of 4-year olds who accompanied the last Christmas Pageant! In addition there is a team of nursery and teaching assistants who bring their own gifts to the Sunday School.
We meet in a dedicated Sunday School space which is spacious, clean and well-equipped with musical instruments, bible-character dolls and puppets, picture books, an extensive ‘fuzzy-felt’ library and other learning resources which bring the stories alive. We have access to a kitchen for cooking and a safe outdoor space for more physical activities.
We follow the Stories on the Way curriculum. It introduces the children to key bible stories and offers a wide variety of fun learning activities which skilfully address different learning styles – seeing, hearing, doing, feeling. For example we learned about the Last Supper and the Eucharist by sharing a special agape meal together and baking unleavened bread which we shared with the congregation after Sunday School during coffee hour. We also recreated Jesus’ baptism by dressing up as the key characters in the story, including the River Jordan and the Holy Spirit. And the Sunday School teacher writes simple lyrics to well-known tunes for many of the bible stories, which ensure that the children retain the key facts. There is always plenty of space for children to ask questions. It’s what we call ‘serious fun’!
We believe it is important that children learn to experience and have a sense of the rituals and rhythms of the Anglican Liturgy. Each Sunday School class begins with ‘The Lord be with you’ and then we sing our ‘thank you’ song, followed by other songs from our repertoire which the children accompany with our fair trade percussion instruments.
Praying together is important to us, and we do this by creating a ‘holy time’ with a candle, some pebbles and water, and each of the children in turn says thank you to God for someone or something special in their life. In a recent ‘5th Sunday’ service in which the whole cathedral worships together, the Sunday School children and their grown-ups shared this way of praying with the whole congregation. During Lent we are learning the Lord’s Prayer with actions. We try to mark the different seasons of the church’s year, and we end each Sunday School class by sharing the Peace before the children go upstairs to participate in communion with their grown-ups.
We have a very faithful ‘core’ of children who are growing up together in Sunday School, and we are always delighted to welcome new children, even if they are only visiting or ‘trying us out’.