Cambridge church school is part of peacemaker project

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Cambridge church school is part of peacemaker project

St Bede’s Inter-Church School in Cambridge has been asked to be part of the second pilot stage of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Reconciliation Ministry – Difference programme for young people, to help nurture and encourage a generation of peacemakers.

To celebrate the expansion of the course to church youth groups, Justin Welby hosted more than 400 guests in the gardens of Lambeth Palace on Wednesday May 8, attended by young people, church leaders, pastors and educators for an evening of celebration and activities.

Guests included Lorraine Prince (Head of Networks, Church of England Education) a Catholic parishioner at St Mary’s in Thetford and an organiser of the event, Alistair Day (head of St Bede’s Inter-Church School, Cambridge) and Fr Pat Cleary (St Mary’s, Thetford).

Archbishop Welby said: “In response to living in a world which is divided, hurting and conflicted, we long for our faith to make a difference, but it can be hard to know where to start.   As Christians, we are called to commit to reconciliation and, through our actions and words, show that a new and better way is possible.”  

Difference for Young People is a resource for churches, school and youth groups to develop skills in peacebuilding for young people in their relationships with others, and to navigate difficult situations. 

Alistair Day, Head at St Bede’s, a joint Anglican and Catholic school, said, “The Difference project will provide a clear framework for staff in school to guide students through difficulties in their relationships with each other.  The project focuses on the development of valuing others (Be Curious), showing an interest and listening to different perspectives (Be Present) and resolving how to move forward respectfully (Reimagine).  As a Christian community, we are delighted to have a resource based upon the teachings and behaviours of Jesus, which can be interpreted for our present context.”

Fr Pat said: “I was there as I’m Lorraine’s parish priest. I was very impressed with what Archbishop Welby said in his address particularly about the importance of respecting people with whom we may disagree.” 

Read more about the programme here.

Pictured are Lorraine Prince (left), Alistair Day, Archbishop Justin Welby and Fr Pat Cleary.