The Parish of Rivenhall and Silver End is part of the Witham and Villages Team ministry, and as the Team Vicar with pastoral oversight for the parish I’m delighted to be part of the ongoing relationship between the Church of England and Rivenhall school. This relationship is an historic one which has existed for generations, and which has only been further strengthen more recently with the school becoming part of the Chelmsford Diocese Multi Academy Trust (MAT).
Following on from my own predecessors, I have been in post here since late 2011, and have been involved in the life of the school both through the Governing Board as well as by simply being the parish priest (or vicar) available for the school since then. It is wonderful that St Mary and All Saints’ church building, and the school itself are literally next to one another, with the beautiful church being visible from school grounds. This in itself is a visual reminder of the close church-school links, and on a more practical level makes it much easier for the children, staff, and parents to access the church itself too.
Aside from taking part in governors’ meetings and associated activities, some of the things which as the local vicar, which I’m involved in in connection with school life include: Leading collective worship (assemblies). Taking services in church during the school day up to six times a year around major church festivals. These are not only attended by the children and staff, but there is also an open invitation for parents and other family members to attend these services too. Towards the end of Year 6 there is a special annual event, during which each child receives a Good News Bible as a leaving, or ‘Primary School Graduation’ gift from the church. I also spend time in the school on a more ad-hoc basis at parents’ coffee mornings and other similar events. I am also always available to all those involved in the life of the school – including parents, should they wish to speak to their vicar regarding any relevant matters. For example, enquiries surrounding baptism (Christening) or to chat about matters of faith – be this for themselves or for their children.
In addition to this, under normal circumstances the first Sunday of the month sees a regular All Age family and children’s service takes place at St Mary’s Church. As a church community we love for families with young children to join in with us at any of our services, and the first Sunday ones are especially catered for them. These is always something fun to think about and to get involved with; musical instruments to play, and songs to join in with too. So why not pop along to this one week soon? It would be lovely to welcome you and your family along. Or feel free to get in touch by calling: 01376 583930 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
With prayers for you and your family. Rev Paul.
N.B.: Like so many other organisations some of what we usually provide as a church has been affected by the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Please do get in touch to find out what may currently be different, or if you should have any other questions surrounding this. We take everyone’s health and well-being very seriously, and so additional precautions may also be in place. Thank you for your understanding.