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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
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New study shows church involvement in schools has a positive impact on children

by Lydia Davies

A recent Diocese of Guildford study has highlighted the positive impact of church involvement in schools.

It found that children are more inclined to ponder life's significant questions in environments where spirituality is fostered.

Emma Coy, mission enabler for children and families at the Diocese, noted, “Children and young people face pressures and levels of anxiety we have never seen before... The space we create for them to ask big questions... has a massive impact on their inner life.”

Rev Canon Jane Whittington, schools officer for Christian distinctiveness at the Diocese, added, “Sometimes we want to give neat and clever answers to these big questions, and often there isn’t one... That’s why this space is important, where children can explore their own experiences... Where children are encouraged to reflect and think deeply, they are inspired to grow and challenge themselves in new ways.”

The research also uncovered that church visits help students feel closer to God. It suggests greater church involvement leads to a stronger spiritual connection among the children.

Based on its findings, the study made 20 recommendations aimed at fostering church-school partnerships. These include encouraging church and school leaders to invest in their relationship and suggesting churches create reflective spaces for children.

The Diocese of Guildford is now taking steps to implement these recommendations, supporting leaders in nurturing spaces for spiritual development.

Lucy Moore, head of the growing faith foundation, reflected on the significance of this research: “It has been a privilege to support the Diocese of Guildford in this exciting research... this piece of work highlights valuable challenges and opportunities for churches and schools as they work together to support the flourishing of all children, young people, and their households.”

This initiative is part of a broader effort by the Church of England’s Growing Faith Foundation to explore effective church-school partnerships and their role in supporting children's spiritual development.

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