School Stoning

Hugh (age 6) took part in his first public stoning today.  At his leavers assembly, the children took painted stones to the front of church.  For a moment, I wondered if the children were preparing to take part in a stoning of the teachers.  Maybe the vicar would call for a ‘Paul’ to stand up and hold their sweaters, and the experience a Damascus moment!

Unfortunately, the reality was far more mundane.  After laying the stones in a cairn, the teachers laboured the point that the life of the school was founded on Christ.  Like so many similar experiences of school worship, it was difficult to tell whether this was a performance or worship.  If worship, why did we clap, and why read out names of those moving to new schools – and an interminable list of the schools they are going to?  If a performance, why did we use the church?

Enough of being grumpy – this is the end of a decade at St Oswald’s School, and that is something to celebrate as well as something to be sad about!  I’ve made it through babies, and toddlers, and now primary school.  Roll on the summer holidays…

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  1. Liz’s avatar

    Some people can be such snobs about clapping in church! 😉 Isn’t this just an expression of the wonderful integration of worship and our ordinary lives, of the affirmation of members of Christ’s family and their place in the church? We need sometimes to bring our everyday lives and their big events before God in a service like this. How many preachers, when told that they preached a “great sermon, vicar” will say “No, don’t praise me, think only about worshipping God”? Applause is for younger children what this verbal affirmation is for adults and older children.

  2. James Collett’s avatar

    >Isn’t this just an expression of the wonderful integration of worship
    >and our ordinary lives, of the affirmation of members of Christ’s family
    >and their place in the church?

    Probably not, actually.

  3. sandrar’s avatar

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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