Local church, local school

Practical and creative ways for churches to serve local primary schools

Margaret Withers

Currently out of print £8.99


Local church, local school is intended for church leaders, lay leaders, children's work leaders, governors, PTAs, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, and Christian parents seeking to support and serve their local primary schools.

The aim of the book is to encourage churches to see engagement with their local schools as part of their service in the community. This can be as much through presence and practical support as through teaching and leading worship, and has the added bonus of giving confidence to schools to see their local church as a teaching resource as well as being a community with much to offer.

The book provides practical ideas and well-founded information on all aspects of engagement, including theological considerations, identifying opportunities and skills, getting involved, and the creative use of respective buildings. Above all, it enables church members to understand how the spiritual needs of the school fit into the legal requirements of the RE programme and the big picture of the school day.


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Author info

Margaret Withers taught music in primary and secondary schools in Inner London for 20 years before becoming a Diocesan Children's Adviser, serving in this role in both Rochester and Chelmsford dioceses. She is author of several books published by Barnabas, including Welcome to the Lord's Table and Where are the children. She was also joint author of Creative Communion.


From Regent's Reviews - October 2010

Local Church, Local School is almost like a textbook for everything a church might need to know in order to engage with their local primary school. The book has a definite Church of England slant, but there is much that is useful here, for example, in terms of how churches might welcome schools on visits. If you are a church that has never built a relationship with a local primary school apart from perhaps the odd assembly, this book is a fantastic place to start. For churches that already have good relationships this book will feel fairly basic.

Reviewed by Andy Goodliff, Belle Vue Baptist Church, Southend on Sea

From The Good Bookstall - June 2010

This useful book is intended to be a guide for members of churches interested in becoming involved in their local primary school(s) as a form of Christian service. While mainly written from a Church of England perspective, most of what is written is applicable to any denomination.

The author starts off by firmly establishing the biblical basis for churches working in local schools. She discusses the subject of Christian vocation to work in schools, and briefly covers the history of Christianity's influence in education.

The book then covers more practical issues. An overview of educational legislation is given, followed by chapters detailing different areas of school life where Christians may be able to get involved, for example collective worship, religious education, school visits, clubs, and becoming a voluntary helper or school governor.

This book will be a valuable resource for a church considering making contact with local schools. I have only one word of criticism: I feel that the author overstates the need to be cautious in school. As a teacher, I invited children to church events, and was encouraged to do so, as it was a way of demonstrating that the school was involved with the local community. And my advice would be, when seeking to talk to children about your beliefs, always use the phrase 'Christians believe...', and then state the truth. By doing this, you are not preaching, you are teaching, and that is what school is all about!

Reviewed by Victoria Hill

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841015866
  • Published: 19 February 2010
  • Status:
  • Format: paperback
  • Pages: 144
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