St John’s Coromandel Valley builds on its relationship with the local primary school
by Cath Hall
The parish of Coromandel Valley has built an on-going relationship with Coromandel Valley Primary School situated next door to St John’s Church.
The link includes parishioners from both church communities in the parish – St John’s and All Hallows, Blackwood – acting as mentors to students as part of the Kids’ Hope programme, class visits to St John’s and an annual date to make Christmas wreaths.
All the Year 1 students from the school visited historic St John’s (1873) earlier in the year to hear the message of Jesus, learn about the beautiful stained-glass windows and church furnishings and to play a note on the wonderful pipe organ.
They each left proudly carrying a “show bag” containing a pencil engraved with “St John’s Church”’ an information booklet and a bookmark of the stained-glass windows. We love having the joyful, inquisitive voices of the 60 little ones in our beautiful church.
In addition, students were invited to bring a food item to donate to the AnglicareSA Magdalene Centre.
The locum minister, the Reverend Martin Bleby, blessed these before blessing all the children. Everyone enjoyed being part of this day.
Recently, a band of volunteer parishioners helped 79 Year 3 students to each make their own unique Christmas wreath. In the process, they listened to the Christmas story and heard about God’s love for them.
This has become a popular annual event that culminates in a display of the wreaths in St John’s Church Hall. Students, families and parishioners will be invited to the much-anticipated exhibition in early December.
During this event, the church is open, and a giant wreath is displayed bearing the name of every student who participates in the wreath-making. There is an exhibition of nativity scenes and parish organists play Christmas music.
We value our relationship with the neighbouring primary school, and we consider all these activities as part of our outreach to the wider community.