Diocese of Manchester

A ‘Church in School’ exists where Sunday worship on school premises has replaced the traditional church building and the parish is based in the school on a formal basis.
Church worshipping in a school hall

Why form a Church in School partnership?

Being part of a Church in School partnership has brought churches greater financial freedom, increased their understanding of what it means to be the church, made them more accessible to the wider community, and increased their potential for growing larger and younger worshipping congregations. Their partner schools have found that benefits included reinforcing their ethos, enriching Collective Worship, and enhancing learning.

This way of being church offers an effective way to refocus the church’s energy on mission in its local context, and make a positive impact on the way both church and school are seen within the wider community. It also strengthens the bond between church and school, and is a helpful way of responding to deteriorating church building stock.

Church in School – one church's story

  • The physical link between St Simon & St Jude’s Church and St Simon & St Jude School in Great Lever, Bolton became closer in 2010 when, faced with a church building that was no longer fit for purpose, the church took up the headteacher’s invitation to make their home in the school, thus becoming a ‘Church in School’.
  • Five years later in 2015, Mrs Deb Lyons, the then churchwarden, remarked “It was a hard decision to make, as many of our families were christened, confirmed and married in that building and we saw the building as the church. But now we realise that it's the people who are the church.”
  • Today the church feels it hasn’t yet fulfilled its potential to grow and thrive in its new environment. However what is clear as it begins a Mission Action Plan, is that now is a good time to reflect on its priorities and resources for mission and ministry both within the school and in the wider community it seeks to serve. 

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400