Origins of Lichfield Christian Schools Work Trust
In the 1990s Government Policy emphasised the need for schools to hold regular acts of collective worship with a Christian character. A good many schools found they were not geared up to deliver these assemblies effectively.
A local Christian teacher, Andrew Rushton, recognised schools could do with more support and help to make the assemblies relevant, worthwhile and effective.
He, along with other Christians in Lichfield and Scripture Union, established Lichfield Christian Schools Work Trust with the aim of delivering meaningful school assemblies in line with Government policy and to help schools with RE lessons.
A Schools Worker was appointed and over a short period of time they earned the trust of schools and their staff. The Trust delivered assemblies, RE lessons and provided a degree of pastoral support for staff.
After a few years, Shepherds Crook Puppets was set up to support primary schools with their assemblies. They developed a number of memorable plays based on Bible stories using puppets – this project is still going strong.
There was a gap in the provision of services to secondary schools whilst The Trust reassessed the changing priority in schools. In 2013, this led to a change of emphasis as the Trust’s Schools Worker expanded their role to offer mentoring support to young people who had low self esteem and confidence. This change of direction coincided with the diminished need from the schools for support with assemblies and RE lessons. The change was a direct help to vulnerable young people – it helped them to develop and live their lives to the full; an underlying feature of the Christian Faith.
This project has developed into Engage Youth Mentoring. They work with over 120 young people a year through the services of over 30 volunteer mentors.
In 2016 support for young people was expanded to help them with their employability skills through the Bridge Builders project.
Over the years, LCSWT has gained a good reputation and developed the trust of the local community. The work has developed and changed to what we see now and continues to be underpinned by a strong Christian ethos ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.