As part of their GCSE course in religious education, which focuses particularly on Christianity and Buddhism, Year 10 students visited two places of worship: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and a Thai Buddhist temple in Runcorn. Miss Cotter looks back on the day:
First on the itinerary was a tour of the world-famous Anglican cathedral, investigating its key features and understanding their importance for worshippers. We explored the Lady Chapel and the Holy Spirit Chapel. We also made sure to check out the iconic red telephone box near to the tower complex! Students learnt that Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect who designed the cathedral, also designed the iconic, once-ubiquitous red telephone box. Before leaving, we all gave a small donation to the cathedral to support the upkeep of the magnificent building and as a token of thanks for their hospitality.
From there we travelled to Runcorn to visit Wat Phra Singh, a Thai Buddhist temple, run by monks from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. One of the monks, resplendent in orange robes, spoke to the students about the role of Buddhism in the local community, the teachings of the Buddha and the lifestyle he leads as a Buddhist monk. Students made an offering to the community of food and incense, and the monks blessed the students with a chant in Pali, the language used by the Buddha. Students also received sai-sin, or sacred thread, which was tied around their wrists for good karma and protection.
On the way back, there was time to reflect on a thought-provoking and interesting day. We were all touched by the friendly and welcoming nature of both religious communities, and I was extremely proud of the maturity and interest shown by the students.