THE generous Parents and Friends Association of St Peter's C of
E Primary School, in the village of Brotton, near
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, in York diocese, has paid for
six child-sized sets of robes and vestments to be used as a
teaching aid in their parish church, St Margaret's.
Croft Design, based in Shropshire, has made a chasuble, stole,
black scarf, alb, cope, and mitre, all to fit five- and
The children love dressing up, of course, and the Rector, the
Revd Jonathan Rhodes - who tells me that St Margaret's is "fairly
trad" in such matters - has welcomed the chance to explain to
children which liturgical colours are worn, when, and why.
It all fits well into the RE curriculum, the head teacher of St
Peter's, Richard Unthank, says. In the Foundation Stage (ages three
to five), the children learn about religious leaders, including a
priest and what he or she needs to wear. In Key Stage 1 (ages five
to seven), they are helped to understand what goes on in St
Margaret's, and the part played by the vicar in the parish. (Mr
Rhodes tells me he "gets all the silver out" to explain its
And, in Key Stage 2 (ages seven to 11), they identify the
similarities and differences between St Margaret's and York
Minster, both in the buildings and in the different parts played by
people in each place of worship.
Already, the state primary school near by, and another church
school, have asked whether they can come for the same experiences;
and Mr Rhodes has also had an enquiry from another church about
obtaining similar robes and vestments. He is hoping that it is an
idea that will take off.