Diocese of Manchester

    Gospel singing comes to Walmsley

    As the Children Changing Places Project enters the summer term in its first year of activity, the team have been working hard to create and establish new ways of growing and nurturing a child’s Christian faith. Across Bolton, the team have been building good relationships with schools, clergy and congregations, not only to help in the creation of new things but also to work alongside people in the Christian discipleship activity that already exists so prominently in these places.

    Nicola Witter, Deanery Children and Families Worker for the Walmsley Deanery, has been working since the beginning of March with the Y5 class at Walmsley CE Primary School on an exciting project that has already done so much for the pupils within that school.

    Nicola used her gifts and talents in singing to create morning workshops for the Y5’s to attend, aiming for the Walmsley Gospel Choir debut on 9 May at Christ Church Walmsely, all school Collective Worship. Nicola embedded bible teachings into her sessions, ensuring that the pupils were receiving the teaching needed to grow their faith and learn something new. She delivered singing workshops where the pupils’s learnt chords and how to listen to each other whilst singing together.One of the aims was for the Y5’s to understand that Gospel is a different style of singing and that it is a form of worship and praise.

    Read Simi and Harrison’s experience of joining a gospel choir;

    “My experience of gospel choir was a memory that I’ll never forget and Miss Witter was a fabulous teacher. Not only did she teach us well, she made sure that we had fun and wanted to be there. If we had the opportunity to do gospel choir again I would do it in a heartbeat.” Simi Y5

    “My experience at gospel choir was fun, exciting and amazing. It made me feel happy and so grateful. I absolutely loved it and would definitely do it again.” Harrison Y5.

    The Y5’s certainly brought the sunshine to a rainy Walmsley as they led the whole school Collective Worship in singing. The very high roof of the church was raised even higher as the children sang with full hearts ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ Their voices filled the church and the solo performances were presented with confidence and enjoyment. Nicola then asked everyone to get up on their feet and join in with the worship.The joy around the church was wonderful and everybody was clapping along, which gave the choir even more confidence.

    Nicola is very proud of the Y5’s she has had the opportunity to work with and has cemented those important relationships ready to continue work with them in Y6. This has laid the foundations in creating more opportunities for discipleship and faith based activity for all pupils, enabling their individual faiths to grow. It will also hopefully lead to a safe landing into Y7 when some of the pupils transition up to one of the Bishop Fraser Trust schools involved in the Children Changing Places Project.

    Nicola will now spend the summer term with Y6 delivering the same programme of activities which will culminate in another fantastic concert in Collective Worship at Christ Church Walmsley. This will be an extremely special time for the Y6 class as they prepare for transition and new beginnings and I’m sure the work that Nicola will do with them is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives. 

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
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