Letter to clergy about the Good Shepherd Project

Published: November 2, 2018

Dear clergy,

Nine life-sized sheep models are travelling around the 118 church schools in the Diocese of Gloucester over the next academic year, as part of the Good Shepherd Project. You may have already seen one in your area.

Each school will host a sheep for seven to ten days and has been asked to decorate it in an individual way, using the school’s logo, a distinctively Christian vision statement, or another piece of artwork inspired by this project. As well as this, each school will be asked to fill in a diary entry of how the sheep has been involved in school and parish life and include photos or samples of inspired school-work.

The aim of the project is to help schools recognise and celebrate that they are part of a diocesan family of schools and to develop their links across the deanery, both with other schools and with churches.

We would love to have your support on this project. If you are able to get in contact with your local school(s) while the sheep is visiting, it can provide excellent opportunities to strengthen and build church-school links. Be creative in celebrating your connection with your local school – it can be as big or small as you like. It might fit into what you are already doing, or it might be something new.

A few ideas for getting involved

·         Leading a collective worship linked to the idea of the Good Shepherd and sheep in the Bible.

·         Using the sheep in festivals like Harvest, Christmas, Lent etc.

·         Inviting the sheep to visit church with the pupils

·         Using the sheep in Open the Book sessions

·         Decorating the sheep with the school, to reflect the link you have with them

There are more resources on our website that might give you some ideas. You can also find out when the sheep will be in your area here.

The sheep will return to College Green in May, ready for the Leavers’ Services at the Cathedral and they will be on display for a time, showcasing the children’s artwork.

We would like to thank you for all the time that you put into building connections and developing the relationship between your church and school. If you would like to find out more about this project, contact Debbie Helme on 01452 835550 or dhelme@glosdioc.org.uk

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