Worship and Our Church

Our Church


Background Information about our Church

St Stephen's Church was founded in 1870 and was the vision of Harrison Blair who owned the local chemical works. He died in 1871 before the building was completed. The graveyard holds the remains of 19 miners who were killed in the Unity Brook Colliery disaster.

We are a Voluntary Aided Church School. What does that mean?

Some schools are owned and run by the Local Authority. These are called 'Maintained' schools. Other schools are called 'Voluntary' schools. These were built by the Church independently from the Local Authority. Some voluntary schools chose to hand their ownership and control to the Local Authority. These became 'Voluntary Controlled' schools. Others chose to receive their funding through the Local Authority but retain ownership and management of the school. These are called  'Voluntary Aided' schools. St Stephen's is one such school.

As a church school, we have a strong Christian ethos and pride ourselves in the fact that we educate our children in a Christian way of life, upholding Christian values.

Worship in School and Church

Assemblies take place in the school hall on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before lessons. There is a hymn practice for all children on Tuesdays. On Fridays we celebrate children's achievements in a special assembly to which we invite parents and carers.


We take all children to church once a month for worship where we take communion, sing and pray together.  The services are led by Reverend Karsten Wedgewood.
We also celebrate important Christian festivals, such as Easter, Harvest and Christmas in church with parents, friends and relatives.

Year 6 children are given the opportunity to attend confirmation classes prior to being confirmed. Confirmation classes are offered to children when they enter Year 6.

Sunday Services

Sunday services are held at the following times:

Said Communion: Sunday at 8.30 a.m. until 9.30 a.m.

Sung Family Communion: Sunday at 10.00 a.m. until 11.20 a.m.

Our Prayer Tree

Children need to be given the opportunity to express their feelings.  They may be anxious, happy or worried about something and are having difficulty talking openly about it.  In addition to the fact that all staff in school are always available to listen to children, there is also an opportunity for them to write their feelings down in a more private way.

Our Prayer Tree, which is situated in the Hall, offers this opportunity.  Children choose a coloured leaf from the bags by the Tree and write a prayer to express their feelings for:

  • Praising God - yellow leaf                                                                             
  • Thanking God - green leaf
  • Asking for God's help - red leaf
  • Saying sorry - blue leaf
  • Praying for peace - - white leaf

They can choose to put their name to the prayer, or not.  The leaves are hung on the Prayer Tree and read out by Teachers, or pupils, as part of our assemblies.