Signs and Symbols
In our document, “A Whole Community”, which attempts to give some guidelines as to what makes an Anglican school “Anglican”, the 7th mark is “Signs and Symbols”. Expanding on that, we say:
Anyone entering our school, or reviewing its online presence, will know that we are a Christian school which places a high value on our special character. Our school has prominent signs and symbols which remind the community of our distinctive values, and challenge us to continue the life of faith. Our signs and symbols are imaginative, creative and life-affirming. They reflect our three tikanga heritage.
The Chapel is an obvious one for many schools, but there are many other creative ways schools are exploring their Christian character visually. Hadlow in Masterton, for example, doesn’t have its own chapel, but believes that it creates a public and visual symbol every Monday as the whole school walks down the block to the local parish church. Here are some ideas from across our network to think about.
- A TV in the foyer, screening Bible verses such as can be found here
- A prayer table in the foyer, with a Bible open at the weekly Gospel reading, a cross, a candle, and something in the liturgical colour for the season.
- Coloured cushions in the foyer which are changed to reflect the liturgical colours. Similarly, primary classrooms could find some way of colourfully and brightly marking the changes of seasons and Holy Days.
- A prayer station somewhere easily accessible to all. Prayer stations don’t have to be limited to particular places. Each class could take turns designing one for a universally accessible area, or a range of stations could rotate around classrooms.
- A quiet space, created in a garden area perhaps.
- Outdoor “Stations of the Cross” – designed and built by students.
- Signs of unusual hospitality. St Mark’s Christchurch has a coffee cart in their entrance way!
- Check your websites. You have to search hard to find evidence of the Christian/Anglican character of some of our schools online.
Any other ideas? Send them through by email and I’ll edit this post to add them!