Newham pupils quiz Christians at Easter workshops

Pupils take part in a street dance workshop as part of the Easter Experience (Pic by Jennifer Essu)

Pupils take part in a street dance workshop as part of the Easter Experience (Pic by Jennifer Essu) - Credit: Archant

St John’s Church in Stratford welcomed hundreds of pupils to learn about Christianity as part of the Easter Experience.

Faith in Schools, a group made up of ex-Newham teachers, runs the initiative to encourage engagement between Christians and non-Christians with workshops for school children.

The group’s primary schools leader, Alice Probert, says it’s important for pupils to know what it means to be Christian and to improve religious education in the borough.

“Our aim is for every child in Newham to have met a local Christian and know what it is to be a Christian today,” she said. “We are not evangelising, we’re trying to break stereotypes.

“There are a lot of preconceived notions people about Christianity – such as it only being just for old white people or black people with African backgrounds.”

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On Friday and Monday, she and other volunteers welcomed about 400 Newham primary pupils to teach them about the beliefs and practices of 21st century Christians, with stained glass window workshops, storytelling and a street dance class.

“We also talked about how Easter is celebrated around the world,” Alice said.

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“The great thing about Newham is people come from all over – we had about eight countries the children were linked to so we has plenty to talk about.”

Children were also invited to ask questions, which included “how could Jesus come back to life?” and “how could angels come to Earth?”.

Alice believes it’s important to promote these conversations and to tackle the fear of causing offence that come teachers feel when talking about religion.

“It’s a bit like sex education,” she said. “Sometimes teachers can be quite unsure of what they can


“But the children we speak to are really open-minded.

“We have one lesson on how Christians express their faith through art and we go from traditional art all the way up to modern art.

“One picture shows Jesus on the Tube and we get them to think about why the artist painted that.

“As Christians, we believe Jesus is everywhere – even on the Tube at some point.”

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