Gideons’ Bible Presentation to Year 7
As the first half-term of the new academic year draws to a close, pupils and staff at St. George’s School were delighted to welcome representatives from the Gideon Society.
In what has been an annual event for the school for over 40yrs, copies of the New Testament were presented to every year 7 pupil. Addressing the pupils, Mr. Terry Smith talked about the generous and loving ‘Creator’ God Christians believe can be encountered through its pages.
The presentation came during an act of worship at the end of Year 7’s Spirituality Day which had taken ‘Courage to be and to act’ as its theme. During Spirituality Day pupils had enjoyed lessons reflecting on the theme and thinking about people from the fields of religion, science, sport and elsewhere, who, by following their convictions, stood out from the crowd.
Rev. Helen Houston, the School Chaplain, speaking after the event added: “I still have my copy of the New Testament presented to me by the Gideons when I was a teenager. I wouldn’t have described myself as a Christian back then, and yet I found the book they gave me a really helpful source of comfort and advice to dip into. I’ll be encouraging our pupils to take the time to discover this for themselves.”
Mr. Smith was accompanied by long-serving Gideons Mrs Sylvia Holgarth, and Mr John and Mrs Christine Cookson, who helped distribute the books.
23rd October, 2017
‘Let your light shine’ – Advent 2017
Pupils at St. George’s School, have been getting in the festive mood with a Christingle service.
Rev. Helen Houston (School Chaplain) organised the Christingle service for over 200 Year 8 pupils. All gathered in the School Hall to take part in the centuries’ old tradition of decorating an orange with a candle, ribbon and fruit.
Originating in Germany in 1747, the Christingle Service has become a firm favourite of Churches all over the country who use it as a way of explaining the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
Tabitha Halliwell, the Christian Youth Worker for St. Wilfrid’s School, Blackburn, was the guest speaker at the service. In her address, she explained to the pupils how a car accident had been a big wake-up call in her life leading her to find faith in Jesus. She had, she said, “swapped the lights of the emergency services for the light of Jesus” in her life. She reminded the pupils that the candle in the Christingle represented Jesus, the light of the world, and she challenged them to use their light for good in the world.
Mr.Walker, Head of Year 8, said that his pupils had enjoyed the opportunity of making their own Christingles. “It was good to see everyone joining in with the Christingle making and the carol singing. It’s an excellent way of reminding our pupils that Christmas isn’t just a fun time, but a fun time with love and hope at its heart.”
Pictured here are the Year 8 readers with their finished ‘Christingles’, Mrs. Tabitha Halliwell (guest speaker), Margaret Hayhurst (Vice-Chair of Governors) and Rev. Helen Houston (School Chaplain)
St. George’s School Choir visit to Blackpool Victoria Hospital 15.12.17
Ms Ashworth and Rev. Helen Houston were delighted to take the School choir to Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Friday last week. The pupils sang to visitors and staff in the Foyer before going on to two of the Elderly Care Wards and singing traditional carols. The pupils were also delighted to present Leanne Lamb, Play Co-ordinator, with gifts for the Children’s Ward.
Remembering Jesus at Christmas
“Jesus was homeless himself”, Chris Buckley, Lincoln College lead at
St. George’s school, said by way of explaining the school’s decision to support ‘Streetlife’ this Christmas.
“It was only because of the good will of others in Bethlehem that the Holy Family had a roof over their heads in the first place. We hope the school’s contribution to the work of this wonderful local charity will bring some Christmas cheer to those who find themselves struggling at this festive time.”
Rachel Day, the Under-18’s worker from Streetlife, who collected the donation from the school in her car was delighted with the haul, “It really is a fantastic response, especially from a Secondary School”, she said. “You can see my car’s packed. In fact I’m going to have to make another trip, there’s so much of it!”
Each of the 45 forms that make up the Church of England Academy had been given the task of collecting items they’d like to find in a hamper or stocking at Christmas time. Many decorated their boxes with wrapping paper, tinsel and Christmas messages.
Mr. Warnock, Headteacher, commented, “’Loving our neighbours as ourselves’ is a key part of our Christian ethos at St. George’s. I just want to thank our pupils and their families for their generosity and support.”
Holy Week at St George’s School
The excitement of the holidays may be fast approaching, but pupils at St. George’s School were reminded that Christians believe the joy associated with Easter came at a cost.
The team of 90 strong Spirituality Captains had gathered in the main hall to celebrate Palm Sunday – which falls this Sunday, 25thMarch – and the start of Holy Week with the blessing and distribution of palm crosses. The Christian Union also marked this occasion by walking and praying around the ‘Stations of the Cross’ (which are set at places around school), a traditional way to mark Holy Week
Addressing the pupils, Mr. Angus MacLeod, Chair of Governors and Administrator of the Bible Pattern Church in Blackpool, talked about what the cross meant to him. Mr. MacLeod closed his address by quoting words from his favourite hymn, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’:
Following the blessing of this year’s palm crosses by the chaplain, Rev. Helen Houston, the pupils were given a lesson in cross-making and treated to hot cross buns.
St. George’s School Celebrates Its Namesake
Year 9 pupils from St.George’s School gathered in their Main Hall today to celebrate St.George’s Day.
The 200 strong congregation heard the true story of how this Christian man from the Eastern Mediterranean rose up through the ranks of the Roman army and gained the admiration of the Emperor along the way. They also heard how his success and life were cut short by the same Emperor on 23rd April, 303CE, when George – having refused to compromise his faith by worshipping Roman gods – was tortured and executed.
Spirituality Captains then presented their visiting speaker, Opa Geibel, the Chaplain at St. Aidan’s Church of England School, Preesall, with a dragon kite in tribute to the legend associated with St.George. Mr.Geibel, in his address, used the kite as a metaphor for the many fears and anxieties young people carry with them.
“It is alright to be afraid”, he told the pupils. “It is only human. What is not alright is to stay in your fear and let it limit your life”.
Drawing parallels with the story of St. George, Mr.Geibel, spoke about how faith in Jesus had helped him tackle the ‘dragons’ he had encountered in his own life. He urged pupils to face their fears and overcome them with the help of friends, families, health professionals, staff at the Church of England School, and by discovering Jesus for themselves. “Remember”, Mr.Geibel said, “as the Bible says ‘The Lord your God will go with you, and he will never leave you.”
During the St. George’s Day Service, Year 9 pupils were also treated to a beautiful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ ‘The Climb’ by one of our own pupils which was visually accompanied by our accomplished dancers.
26th April, 2018
Prayer and Chocolate
Chocolate mad chaplain, Rev. Helen Houston, decided there were only two places to take her school’s Christian Union at the end of a busy academic year: the local Church of England Cathedral and the ‘Chocolate House’ both based in Blackburn.
The pupils ranging in age from 11-16 years spent the morning at the Cathedral learning its story and trying out different forms of prayer. While the afternoon was spent learning how chocolate is made and trying out different types.
“We’ve had a great day,” Rev. Helen said. “The pupils have had the space and time to reflect on the year just gone, and we’ve celebrated it, too, with one of God’s greatest creations!”
Photograph shows Rev. Helen Houston (far right) with members of her Christian Union.