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Collective Worship

Guidance and resources for collective worship

Olivia Seymour 

Assistant Director of Education – Christian Character

Collective Worship

Worship is an area of church school life which presents special opportunities to promote spiritual and religious development. It also has the potential to contribute to faith nurture, providing a means by which all pupils – both those of the faith and those from other backgrounds – may understand more about the Christian faith, while experiencing and learning about worship and what it means to those who take part.

It must be recognised that pupils in church schools come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The school community is a collection of people from different backgrounds and if school worship is to be meaningful, it must be sensitive to this.

Whilst the Christian context will be explicit in church schools, the overall pattern should be collective rather than corporate, as shared beliefs and values cannot be assumed. The use of the term collective is important in that it recognises that pupils and staff will subscribe to a range of beliefs, and that there is a need for the church school to provide opportunities for all to share in worship in a way which make sense to them and is appropriate to their stage of development.

In reality, our schools are being challenged to develop a unique kind of experience. One which is analogous to faith group worship, but which still retains the openness and integrity of learning.

Collective worship should play a central role in the life of a church school and it should reflect the Christian vision, values and ethos of the school. It should therefore:

  • Be grounded in distinctively Christian teaching
  • Be inclusive, engaging, inspiring, inclusive and accessible
  • Be clearly visible in key school documents and on the school website
  • Be well organised, resourced, planned and delivered
  • Be effectively monitored and evaluated as part of the school’s cycle of review.