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Remembering War - Making Peace: A school and church collaboration in Westleigh 

First published on: 20th November 2023

A week-long exhibition has taken place at St Peter’s Church, Westleigh, as part of their Remembrance Day activities. The exhibition, titled 'Remembering War - Making Peace', reflected the dual responsibility of remembering the terrible destruction of war and the loss of God-given life, and committing ourselves to making peace.

The exhibition was a testament to the collaboration between members of the church, St. Peter’s School, Messy Church, Brownies and the local community. One of the ways that people took part was by knitting poppies to create their own Weeping Font.

The exhibition's written work, art and craft covered six topics: Peace, Forgiveness, Conflict, Refugees, Hope and Scripture. The work was displayed around the church and each topic featured an interactive Prayer Station.

There was a great turnout over the week, with more than 400 children visiting the exhibition to see their work displayed and to engage with the Prayer Stations. They put their Prayers for Hope on the Rood Screen, with one Year 1 pupil writing a lovely prayer called ‘Peas & love’. We know that God heard every one of those prayers!

The Brownies spent their weekly session in church engaging with the Prayer Stations, and the exhibition was also open to members of the public on certain days, with everyone attending able to enjoy a drink and warm hospitality from St Peter’s.

Bishop Mark, Bishop of Middleton, gave encouraging collective worship, also taking his time to visit classrooms to meet the staff and children, and engaging with the children at the exhibition’s Prayer Stations.

On Remembrance Sunday, a Royal Marine came and laid the wreath at St Peter’s; a fitting way to end the week of activities, which brought the school and church together in a community project for the first time in many years.

St Andrew’s, Eccles, and St John’s, Atherton also took part in the project, hosting exhibitions of pupils’ work and engaging with their communities.

We thank God for the wonderful blessings this project has brought to so many.

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