Over the past 9 months, Redland Education Centre has been working diligently with Alison Clarkson Webb from Borderlands and Penny Faux , a local artist, to assemble a GCSE RS lesson which answers the question, ‘How do Christians respond to the problem of evil and suffering?’ Our specific focus being the current refugee crisis, and how different Christian organisations and individuals have worked to combat the ongoing suffering of over 65million people.
On Thursday 16th March, we welcomed fifty-five Year 10 students from Bristol Cathedral Choir School to take part in our interactive art exhibition and hear from speakers from REC, Borderlands and Christian Aid. Penny and Anne created a heartfelt exhibition which led the students to immediately engage with the sensitive issues presented to them. One student explained that in one image of a tearful woman, Penny had been able to summarise the entire crisis.
REC also provided ‘zones’ of information offering an insight into St. Michaels, the Church built in ‘The Jungle’ camp, a short film depicting the treacherous journey taken by thousands over the sea, a discussion of how God would respond to the often biased headlines strewn across our media sources and a timeline showing people of different nationalities seeking refuge in Britain over the past hundred years.
The morning ended with an opportunity for the pupils to create their own reflective artwork and several students chose to include Bible verses within their pieces; Proverbs 22 ‘Do not mistreat the poor just because they are poor’ and Leviticus 19, ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them…love them as yourself.’
We believe that the morning offered an enriching opportunity for the students and are looking to open this out to more schools in the next academic year. Thank you to all our volunteers who came to assist us in leading this workshop, the school praised us all for our professionalism and creativity; a very successful morning!