This year has seen every school in the country facing a unique set of challenges. Teachers, pupils and parents alike are finding new ways of working together in utterly unprecedented circumstances. In our experience, they’re doing so with grace, hope and strength.

Right now, they’re rightly focused on providing a safe space for children to continue to learn and grow. But at Bethlehem Care and Hospice Trust, we’d like to invite schools to look to the not-too-distant future – Christmas to be exact!

Last year saw primary schools in South Yorkshire’s Hallam Diocese participate in:

  • a non-uniform day to mark the first school day of advent (30th November)
  • a festive celebration of Christmas cribs

Will you take part in 2020?

We’re launching our successful Schools for Bethlehem campaign once again, and this year we’d like as many schools as possible to take part – right across the country.

You’ll be helping to raise much-needed funds for the Bethlehem Care and Hospice Trust, whose mission is to establish the first ever hospice for sick and elderly people in the holy city of Bethlehem.

Festival of Cribs

In previous years, schools have asked families to create their own crib scene, to form part of a wider exhibition within the school over the Christmas period. It provides a wonderful focal point for the festivities as well as supporting further learning.

You could even consider inviting parents to view the exhibition in a socially-distanced Christmas event. Each participating family will receive a certificate from the Trust.

Mary Wilde, from St Wilfred’s Catholic Primary School in Sheffield, describes her school’s experience:

‘We encouraged all families to make their own crib scene to bring into school. We ended up with over 60 lovingly homemade and creative crib scenes.  We had cardboard cribs, plasticine, lego, knitted and even gingerbread scenes. It was so special and a lovely way of making a link between what we do in school and what happens at home.’ 

Bernadette Twomey, RE Coordinator at St Marie’s School reflects on their event:

‘Welcoming the Festival of the Cribs into schools at this busy time provides a calm and mindful space for children to experience the joy of the crib and the unity of the family.’

‘The Festival of Cribs supports a wide and varied curriculum and the opportunity to experience so many beautiful ways of expressing one story.’

Get involved

Pope Francis encouraged the use of the Christmas cribs to “Bring the Gospel to the places where you live: in homes, schools, workplaces and meeting places, in hospitals and nursing homes, in prisons and in squares. And where we live reminds us of one essential thing: that God did not remain invisible in heaven, but came to Earth, he became man, a child.”

We know that this is a difficult and challenging time for schools. But it’s also time to look to the future. Taking part in the Schools for Bethlehem campaign is the perfect way for the whole school community to come together to celebrate the joy of Christmas whilst also raising money for a truly worthy cause.

We very much hope to see as many schools as possible get involved.

To request a fundraising pack, along with a number of free resources, please email info@bcandht.org