Children & Youth
The Abbey welcomes children and young people of all ages. It is always a delight to see them. The 9.15am Parish Communion includes Sunday Groups as follows.
|Sparklers||Age 3 - Reception|
|All Stars||Year 1 - Year 6|
|Trailblazers||Year 7 - Year 10|
Group study materials use a variety of learning styles including Godly Play and a variety of craft activities. We all begin in the service together at 9.15am, with children sitting with their parents. After 15 minutes the children make their way to their groups (parents can come too, if children would like them to!) Thechildren rejoin the service in time for Communion or Blessing with their parents. Towards the end of the service, they are sometimes invited to the front of the Abbey to show us something they have produced together; or to explain what they have been discussing.
On the Monday of Holy Week (2013) a group of a group of 14 young people, five students and seven adults met in the Abbey Sanctuary for the start of this year’s Pilgrimage. The theme running through the next four days was ‘Exodus’, with our Rector, Edward Mason, recalling the whole epic story of Israel’s escape from Egypt each evening.
The pilgrims’ journey began with a train ride to Salisbury and a bus to Old Sarum. Biting winds meant that we walked quickly off the high ground of the old cathedral site to get to our first resting place; Middle Woodford Church and School. Eleven miles were covered on the second day as the group reflected on what it meant to be a disciple, walking in the dust of the Rabbi. At Berwick St James Church we reflected on what it is to be ‘fishers of men’, and wondered about the gifts each of us have that would be useful to God. The hall at Hanging Langford was very comfortable and two of our car drivers stayed for supper (chicken curry provided by the Bath Abbey congregation) and games.
On Wednesday we wondered about the cost of freedom for the Hebrews when they left Egypt as we travelled an old drovers’ route up into Grovely Wood. We picnicked in the snow at lunchtime and then descended to Wilton to see the first of George Herbert’s churches: St. Mary and St. Nicholas. Barbara Meardon’s office, at the Diocesan Education Centre in Wilton, provided the next place of rest. Here the challenge, working in groups, was to tell the Exodus story in 60 seconds and then write a song and dance to teach the others. We will never forget the pharaoh dance!
Thursday’s walk took us to St Peter’s Fugglestone, a church heated and lit only by gas and through the Wilton estate. Entering Salisbury arrived at the Cathedral just as they were singing the final hymn in their Maundy Thursday service. Following a tour of the Cathedral, the Canon Precentor, Tom Clammer, led us in a reflection and anointed everyone with the oils that had just be blessed by the Bishop. We travelled back to Bath by train for a Passover Meal in No.9 Kingston Buildings and to wash one another’s feet at the Maundy Thursday service in the Abbey.
Fantastic video by Hannah Evans
To view a video which truly encapsulates the spirit of pilgrimage, click here. Thank you to Abbey Youth Worker, Hannah Evans, for making this fantastic video.