St Mary’s Church has a very strong relationship with our local Church of England School, Gainford Primary. Reverend Eileen loves to go in to the school to lead assemblies and we have regular School Services in the Church.
We also have a lively Open the Book group who enjoying dressing up and ‘acting’ out bible stories! Usually the children can join in, dres up, play instruments, make sound effects and mimes – but during the last few months we’ve had to do this by recordings to ensure everyone can still take part. These are shared with the school and parents and are really enjoyed by both the actors and the audience!
We also have an active Bake Along group who make during the last year made videos for local children and families to ‘Bake Along’ with us – usually connected to Christmas, Candlemas and Easter.
The Church and School have been chosen as a pilot for a countrywide initiative called “Growing Faith” which hopes to bring Church, School and Families together to deepen childrens faith. Many of the videos of collective worship by Reverend Eileen and the Open the Book have been part of this Growing Faith project.
Eileen has also been offering support by meeting the headteacher and staff during these challenging times – to encourage, listen, encourage and pray for them.
To speak to a member of staff at Gainford C of E Primary School please click (here)
The village of Winston no longer has a primary school and many of the children who live in the village attend Staindrop C of E Primary School. Several church members from the Parish serve on the governing body at Staindrop. Although Staindrop C of E Primary School is affiliated with St. Mary’s church at Staindrop, Rev’d Eileen Harrop has with the agreement of the Priest in Charge of St. Mary’s at Staindrop made positive links with the school as part of the extended church family of Gainford and Winston. To speak to a member of staff at Staindrop C of E Primary School please click (here).
Our ‘Youth Saint’s’ group which meet at St. Mary’s at Gainford is an active youth collaboration which brings together children and youth with connections to both parishes and from the wider community where they are resident – many schools including Richmond, Barnard Castle, the Gaunless Valley and Darlington can participate in a full and fun range of activities, days out, holiday clubs and retreats. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch about joining these events.
We also have children within both our Parishes who attend both Primary and Secondary schools in the wider local area and further afield and we are delighted to generate links with other churches to ensure that the pastoral care of our younger members is being fulfilled.