In order to consolidate their learning in the GCSE PRE, Year 10 students visited two places of worship, a local church, St Oswalds in Bidston and a Thai Buddhist temple in Runcorn, Wat Phra Singh.
They were warmly met at the church by the Vicar of St Oswalds, Ron Iveson, who spoke to the students about many topics, including the history of the church, funny stories about weddings he has conducted and the importance of toast! Students were impressed with Ron’s laid back nature and learn’t a lot about what it means to lead a Christian lifestyle.
Next, students travelled to Runcorn, to visit Wat Prah Singh, a Thai Buddhist temple, run by monks from Chian Mai in northern Thailand. Monk Udon, 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 home students reflected on a thought provoking and interesting day and were touched by the friendly and welcoming nature of both religious communities. Students in particular thought that the monks in the temple were “lovely, very happy people”.