Cheshire West School Pastors
We work in the University Church of England Academy in Ellesmere Port. This is a secondary school with around 1200 pupils. There are 10 School Pastor volunteers and a coordinator who is paid for 6 hours per week.
The Ministry was set up in 2012 and initially the focus was to support the year 7’s transition to High School from Primary School. Since then, as the needs of the school have changed we have adapted and developed to fit in.
We work alongside the chaplain supporting children from different year groups in a variety of ways, such as:-
Small group work
The children in these groups have been identified by the school as vulnerable for a range of reasons e.g. behaviour, self esteem, social/friendship issues etc.
Each School Pastor is attached to a group so get to know the children very well, building up a strong, trusting relationship and helping them face and overcome the struggles that they are going through.
We support on a one to one basis children who are struggling with their reading. Training is given in literacy strategies and we are fortunate to have retired teachers on our team.
We support the chaplain in delivering prayer spaces. This has been one of the most successful and rewarding things that the School Pastors have been involved in. We find it amazing how the children respond and open up. Our conversations have been enlightening, inspiring and at times heartbreaking to know what some children are facing in their lives.
We spend time in the school praying over the prayers the children have written down in Prayer Space time. We also pray for school issues. We feel prayer is so important for this work.
We are invited to take part in assemblies, parents evenings, celebrations, year 7 camp, projects with the community as well.
We have recently been able to start developing a relationship with West Cheshire College which is literally across the road from the school. Many of the children from the Academy move to this college after their GCSE year.
We are attending the college just to pray for now and are slowly building up relationships with the staff and some students. We are praying for this to develop further too.