On April 2nd-3rd, Wesley Place opened its doors to over 120 children, aged 9-10, from 4 of the Junior schools in Alsager. The aim was to give them a better understanding of what Easter means to Christians. A set of 6 workshops was held looking at different aspects of the Easter story.
The children looked at what the Cross means as a symbol, and why it is important to Christians. In particular, they looked at the Cross of Reconciliation in Coventry Cathedral, and the work that has been done from there to further peace in the world .
They put together a giant jigsaw puzzle going through the events of Holy Week. The puzzle was in the form of a cross, and at the centre was the risen Christ, showing how important this is to the story of Easter.
They met 2 Roman soldiers who were present at the Crucifixion of Jesus, and heard a first-hand account of what happened on that day. The soldiers also described what happened in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning when they were on guard duty outside the tomb of Jesus. This was a way of bringing the Easter story alive to the children.
The children also attended a workshop where they re-enacted the events of Palm Sunday, and the night before Good Friday. They then shared a simple meal which showed the origins of the Communion Service.
In a workshop entitled "From Death to Life", the children learnt through simple illustrations how the story of Easter is about moving from a dark situation (the death of Jesus) to new life. They looked at some of the darker things associated with life in the 21st Century and created prayers to address them; these were hung on a tree. They also planted cress seeds which show how new life can spring from something which appears to have no life.
The children carried out Easter themed art and craft activities, decorating crosses with patterns they designed. These were included in the pack which they took home with them, which would remind them of the Easter story and its significance to the world today.