Over 300 Year 5 and 6 pupils from local primary schools have been taking part in Bath Abbey’s Experience Easter running from 28 March to 7 April. Children have been learning about, exploring and reflecting on the incredible events during Holy Week and Easter Day in an innovative and fun way.
Six ‘Stations of the Cross’ have been set up across the Abbey, each with a different Easter themed activity including group work and discussions, creative thinking and art evaluation. Stations include ‘Remember Me’, where children are invited to eat a grape and piece of bread to simulate the wine and bread at Holy Communion when we remember Jesus, and ‘Alone’, that tells the story of the Garden of Gethsemane where children can make a play dough object that reminds them of when they have been alone.
Dawn Farmer, Visitors’ Officer at Bath Abbey, said: “We are very excited to have welcomed so many children to the Abbey to teach them about the Easter story. The children visit each of the stations to explore a particular theme based around the events leading up to Jesus’ death, as told in the Bible.
“Our intention was to make each activity as fun and as interesting as possible, helping to bring the story of Easter alive. The children start with ‘Hopes and Dreams’ which represents the events on Palm Sunday and end their session at the final station representing ‘The Empty Tomb’ and ‘The Resurrection’. It’s an excellent way to engage these young children, many of whom may be discovering the events of Easter for the first time.”
Bath Abbey has now started its ambitious Footprint project which will restore the collapsing floor, install eco- friendly heating and create 200 square metres of new space including a contemporary interpretation centre. The project will provide new space and better facilities for events like Experience Easter.
Joanna McNiff from Calderhouse School said, “We really enjoy taking part in Experience Easter at the Abbey. It’s a wonderful event, especially for our students who are learning about the Easter story for the very first time. We are looking forward to the facilities that the Footprint project will provide, as the Abbey will be able to run more events like Experience Easter in the future. This will give our school children in the local area more opportunities to take part in events and activities in this magnificent building.”
About Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey is a flourishing Church of England parish church which technically serves a small city centre parish (Bath Abbey with St James). This parish has a small residential population and primarily consists of commercial properties; and most of the regular congregation and the 692 people on the electoral roll live in other parishes or come from outside the city of Bath. The Abbey holds daily services of morning or evening prayer or Holy Communion; and the standard pattern of Sunday worship is for five daily services attended on average by 630 people. Special services at Advent, Christmas and Easter are well attended; and many local organisations hold annual services in the Abbey. The Abbey has four choirs: Men’s, Boys’ and Girls’ choirs support worship in services; whilst Melody Makers is a choir for younger children which performs in concerts in the Abbey once a term and at other events in and around Bath. The Abbey runs a successful Schools Singing Programme, an outreach activity which supports singing within local schools and holds regular workshops and concerts in the Abbey. The Abbey welcomes approximately 400,000 visitors annually and is open daily all year round; many of these visitors being families and school parties. Apart from being a place of prayer, worship, weddings and funerals, the Abbey has an important role as a visitor destination, a performance space (for audiences anywhere between 10 and 1,000), a general civic space and an exhibition space.
About Bath Abbey’s Footprint
The £19.3 million Footprint project aims to carry out essential repairs to the Abbey’s collapsing floor, install a new eco-friendly heating system using Bath’s unique hot springs as a source of energy and enlarge capacity by creating 200 sq metres of new facilities to fulfil the Abbey as a place of congregation, equal access and hospitality. A programme is also planned to record and interpret the Abbey’s 1,200 years of history and this iconic church for millions of visitors including educational visits. www.bathabbey.org/footprint