More than 500 children from schools in Egham Hythe – and the Bishop of Dorking, Jo Wells, took part in some early Easter activities when their local church opened its doors for events based around Holy Week and Easter.
The team at St Paul’s church welcomed pupils from Hythe Community Primary and Thorpe Lea Primary schools over four mornings of seasonal activities that included crafts, story-telling and prayer spaces.
On Thursday 23 March, Bishop Jo joined in with pupils from Years 2, 4, 5 and 6 of Thorpe Lea Primary as they moved between the activity stations, creating cards, crosses, models and candle holders and more.
“It was a total joy to be part of the events at St Paul’s, welcoming class after class of children," said Bishop Jo.
"Finely honed over the past seven years, the church team has developed some very creative stations for engaging with the events of Holy Week and Easter that so crucially shape our Christian faith.”
And Bishop Jo was to spend a good portion of the morning on her knees, as she washed children’s feet. Amid the occasional ticklish giggle, the Bishop chatted to pupils about the symbolism of the act – how and why Jesus washed his disciples’ feet in the upper room before the last supper.
“As I washed, I realised it was exactly a year since I first did this in our diocese, at St John’s Primary School in Dorking, when my appointment as Bishop of Dorking was announced," said the Bishop.
"My own prayer is that the symbolic activity of washing the children’s feet will shape all that I do in all places and at all times as I serve in this diocese.”
Janet Frank, curate at St Paul’s, said: “We are very blessed to have such good relationships with both of our local primary schools.
"It's a privilege to share the story of Holy Week with the children through the Easter activity mornings, and their creativity and enthusiasm to learn inspires us.
"We have gained so much from their time with us”