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We would love to hear your stories from serving your local school. Please send your story to us through our contact form.

Tell us about how the project started, what has developed, how it is resourced and your insight into the keys to success.

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Friday
Dec222017

Is Serve Your Local School making an impact?

Serve Your Local School (SYLS) is a website which exists to:

  • Help churches to see the opportunities available to participate in the life of a school
  • Share good practice and stories of successful initiatives amongst churches
  • Provide information about resources and new initiatives

We at SYLS set ourselves the task of finding out if Scottish churches had been making use of SYLS, and if so how had they found it. A huge bit of research was undertaken to find some answers. 332 online surveys and 25 in-depth phone interviews later we had some answers to our wonderings!

So what did the online surveys show?

45% of respondents had heard of SYLS initiative before the survey and half of those had visited the website. An overwhelming majority of people who had visited it really liked what it had to offer.

People were honest in their feedback, which is exactly what we needed! SYLS needs updating, have more materials and be more widely promoted.

There’s probably no surprises in discovering that of those participating in their local school are invariably doing so in their local primary school by a ratio of 3:2. This ratio is also relevant to the amount of church leaders providing chaplaincy in primary to secondary schools.

This ratio is overcome though when finding out where in Scotland people are active in serving their school. Whether it be city, town, village or rural, people in the church are equally active! Happy days!

Almost 3/4 of respondents found the biggest barrier to their church serving their school is a “lack of people and everyone is busy”. Time. No shock there.

About 3/4 of respondents were from a Church of Scotland and 39% of these said their church employs a Children’s, Youth or Families Worker. In other church groups over half of respondents said their church has a Children’s, Youth or Families Worker. It just goes to show, that the church’s presence in local schools is tangible when there is a paid worker with a remit for them.

So what did the phone interviews show?

Every person interviewed had an inspiring story to share with other churches, and it was incredible that such a variety of wonderful activities are going on across Scotland - activities that are held in schools, playgrounds, churches, halls and out in the community. In some ways this is no surprise, but you can never get enough of this good stuff!

The activities ranged from church services together with pupils to running an after school club. But in all the activities and stories, God’s people and his church are showing the love of Jesus to the children and young people in their community!

What next?

We’ll keep you posted for the next stage along the SYLS journey and hopefully you will be part of it!!