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Church of England Engagement Project

About

 

Background

Commencing in October 2013, the Church of England Engagement Project has engaged undergraduate Christian Theology students with the spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England in both historic and contemporary contexts.

The two-year project has embedded an experiential, field-based approach into the curriculum. Level I (second year) and Level H (third year) students have visited and engaged with appropriate local churches, chapels and their communities. A rich set of teaching and learning resources that can be used in future years have been developed for department use.

By their participation, students have arrived at a sound academic understanding of the Anglican Church and gained an experiential sense of the life, spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England.

The project has been funded by a grant from the Church Universities Fund (Church of England). The fund has supported the Church of England Engagement Project in enhancing the Anglican character of Liverpool Hope University as a Cathedrals Group University.

 

Project Management Team Structure and Roles

James Proctor

 

Mr James Proctor

(Project Coordinator) 

Peter McGrail

 

Dr Peter McGrail

(Project Sponsor)

 

Meeting the Project’s Mission and Objectives

The project has impacted positively on two key areas of our students’ experience of the Anglican character of Liverpool Hope University:

  • Firstly, the embedding of a field based approach into the academic curriculum has provided our students with a very tangible experience of Anglican community which challenges the dislocation from local and national church identities which students often experience.
  • Secondly, it has modelled for our students the relevance of historic practices of worship, architecture and symbolism to the academic curriculum and broadened their concepts of knowledge, the nature of religious community, and of worship and reflection.

Moving on from their academic careers, students will be able to read historic texts relating to the Church of England and its worship, read the buildings in which Anglican worship is conducted, and relate to the experience of members of the church today.

 

Project Outcomes

  • Field visits have been successfully integrated into the undergraduate Christian Theology curriculum
  • A rich set of learning and teaching resources and practices have been made available so that the department is fully resourced and able to run field visits in future years, without the direct intervention of a project coordinator
  • The development of key documentation relating to the fundamental practicalities concerning the organisation and implementation of successful field visits (see 'Resources' tab)
  • A thorough evaluation process has been carried out during the project, identifying good practice and areas for improvement
  • Good relationships have been built with leaders and members of the congregations of the four field visit locations

Visit Locations

 

Undergraduate students of Christian Theology have had the opportunity to engage directly with the spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England both in its historic and contemporary dimensions.

A total of four field visit locations have been visited each academic year as part of the project.

 

Exploring the Historic Context of the Church of England

Second year (level I) students visited both All Saints Church, Childwall and The Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park, Toxteth. In terms of course content, a particular emphasis was placed on the fragmentation of Protestantism through a critical engagement and analysis of sermons and related hagiographic literature of early seventeenth century Puritanism. The visits focused on engaging students with the historic dimension of the Church of England; engaging with the controversies and developing theology of the period in the local settings of Childwall and Toxteth, Liverpool.

 

All Saints Church in ChildwallAll Saints, Childwall

Context

In the weeks leading up to the visit, students explored the context of Catholic-Protestant relations in the parish of Childwall, Liverpool, with particular focus given to recusant riots in the Childwall area in 1600. On the day of the visit, two sermons originally preached in 1601 in the church, were read aloud from the pulpit with students being asked to consider the theological content of the sermons preached. Students were also given a tour of the church, reflecting on its key early seventeenth century architectural features. The visit also had an associated piece of assessment; a 750-word theological analysis both of the texts preached and of the architectural space of the church.

Sermons preached:

William Harrison and William Leigh, Death’s Advantage Little Regarded, and the Soul’s Solace Against Sorrow. Preached in Two Funeral Sermons at Childwall in Lancashire at the Burial of Mistress Catherine Brettargh, the third of June 1601. (London: Felix Kingston, 1602. Reprinted 1605)

All Saints Church website

 

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park in ToxtethAncient Chapel of Toxteth Park, Toxteth

Context

The visit to the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park followed later in the academic year, with a focus on The Great Ejection of 1662. Students were again treated to another preaching experience, this time of extracts from the Farewell Sermons preached by non-conformist ministers immediately before their 'Ejections' in 1662. Some of the major issues explored included questioning what happened to the ejected ministers, the theological and political issues at stake, and what effect the Ejection had on the unity of the Protestant community in England. As this visit took place later in the academic year, students were asked to ascend the pulpit and partake in the preaching experience. Again, the visit had an associated piece of assessment; a 750-word theological analysis both of the texts preached and of the architectural space of the church. Students were therefore also given a tour of the church, reflecting on its key architectural features.

Sermons preached:

Farewell sermons preached by Mr. Calamy, Dr. Manton, Mr. Caryle [et. al.] (London, 1663)

 

Exploring the contemporary context of the Church of England (Level H students)

Third year (Level H) students visited both The Church of St John the Baptist and St James in the City. Students explored these two local Anglican parishes which embody very different contemporary expressions of Anglican Spirituality, Worship and Liturgy. In the run up to the field visits, students had been introduced to expressions of contemporary Christian spirituality including Pentecostalism, Charismatic Christianity and Fresh Expressions.

 

Church of Saint John the Baptist in TuebrookChurch of St John the Baptist, Tuebrook & St James in the City, Liverpool

To prepare for the visits, students were asked to work through a number of web links, videos and hand-outs with associated questions via the course Moodle (the University's Virtual Learning Environment). Resources included Twitter and Facebook pages, church websites and websites of other churches with similar or contrasting practices of contemporary spirituality. 

These particular visits took place a week or two apart. This allowed students to more closely compare and contrast the Anglo-Catholic emphases of St John, Tuebrook with the evangelical, charismatic approach of St James in the City.

Students were also encouraged (both by the University and ministers at the two churches) to attend a Sunday worship service. This allowed students to more fully experience the lived-out worship, mission and spirituality of the Church of England. Whilst not compulsory, students were encouraged to attend either as participants or as observers.

Both the field visits and Sunday worship service provided opportunities for students to meet not only with ministers, but also members of the congregation.

 

‌St James in the City Website

St John, Tuebrook Twitter Feed

Resources

 

Project Resources

A number of key resources have been developed which the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies can utilise effectively in future years. These include but are not limited to:

  • Field Visit Handbook – A toolkit for effectively organising, planning and administering field visits
  • Field Visit Documentation Template – An editable, generic template forming the key documentation for a field visit
  • Archive field visit documentation – all project visit documentation from the project's two years of field visits
  • Project Initiation Documentation (PID) – key project documentation outlining the current status, plans and controls of the project
  • Moodle resources – handouts, web links, sermons, ‘how-to’ guidance notes
  • Staff and student evaluations
  • All project reports including interim and end of year reports

Resources can be accessed by department colleagues (and colleagues across the Arts and Humanities Faculty) via the shared University network drive.

 

Field Visit Handbook

What is the handbook?

As the project evolved, it became clear that major guidance documentation concerning what is required to organise and execute a successful field visit was a major necessity. It was therefore suggested that a field visit handbook be produced for use by colleagues in the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The handbook is best defined as a toolkit for organising, planning and administering field visits. The version which has been distributed to colleagues is fully editable in Microsoft Word.

Work is underway on a generic version of a field visit handbook which can be accessed across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more widely across the University.

 

Key Features of the Handbook

The handbook contains practical guidance regarding the implementation of successful field visits, including:

  • How to set up the necessary field visit documentation (see 'Field Visit Documentation Template' below)
  • Advice regarding contacting the field visit location and what needs to be discussed in preparation for a visit
  • Arranging transport (if required)
  • Guidance concerning the production of risk assessment documentation
  • Health and safety guidance
  • Field visit approval process
  • How best to contact students and what information they need to be provided with
  • Practical advice for the day of the visit
  • Post-visit responsibilities

 

Download

Generic Field Visit handbook

Note: This is a condensed pdf version of the Field Visit Handbook. Please note, due to data protection, some information has been excluded.

 

Field Visit Documentation Template

What is the documentation template?

In order to implement engaging and successful field visits, it is necessary to ensure all practicalities and eventualities are covered. Complementing the Field Visit Handbook, a Field Visit Documentation Template has been developed in order to ensure that all practicalities are taken into account. This documentation was introduced at the very start of the project and continued to be used for all visits. Not only is the documentation ‘go-to’ reference material for colleagues, it also provides a written record of evidence for paper trail purposes.

Working seamlessly with the Handbook, the template has been designed in such a way as to allow colleagues to enter text where required, tick relevant check-boxes, and also provides guidance notes throughout.

Once completed, the documentation is distributed to the department administrator and all colleagues taking part in the field visit. The final copy is held by the field visit leader. This is approved and signed by the head of department and/or faculty Dean. 

The version which has been distributed to colleagues is fully editable in Microsoft Word.

 

Contents

The Field Visit Documentation Template comprises the following contents:

  • Visit location and contact details of named individuals
  • Timetable of visit
  • Staff and deputising arrangements
  • Details of course content – student preparation and expectations before and after the visit (rationale for the field visit / how it links in with the curriculum)
  • Pre-visit preparations and discussions with location
  • Full details of transport requirements (if applicable)
  • Health and safety considerations including full risk assessment documentation
  • Approval documentation

 

Download

Field Visit Documentation Template

Note: This is a condensed pdf version of the Field Visit Documentation Template. Please note, due to data protection, some information has been excluded.

Evaluation Videos

 

Student Evaluation 

Throughout the two-year project, project evaluation has played a key part in improving and evolving the field visit experience for students.

A student evaluation form was developed for each particular field visit. Students accessed the form via Moodle, the University's Virtual learning Environment. With the purchase of a video camera during the second year of the project, a number of video interviews were held with students who had visited and engaged with the project's locations.

During the first year of the project, a short staff evaluation form was sent on to tutorial/visit leaders to evaluate visits and their impact, with a particular emphasis on the project's mission and objectives. The video camera was again used during the project's second year to film interviews with members of the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies who had led tutorials during the project's lifetime.

Formal feedback has been collated and qualitative accounts of staff and students' experience are kept on file.

 

Field Visit Interviews - Students

Interviews with Level I (second year) and Level H (third year) students.

 

  

Field Visit Interviews - Departmental Staff

An interview with Dr Peter McGrail (Project Sponsor and Level I tutorial leader) and Dr Andrew Cheatle (Level H tutorial leader).

 

About

 

Background

Commencing in October 2013, the Church of England Engagement Project has engaged undergraduate Christian Theology students with the spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England in both historic and contemporary contexts.

The two-year project has embedded an experiential, field-based approach into the curriculum. Level I (second year) and Level H (third year) students have visited and engaged with appropriate local churches, chapels and their communities. A rich set of teaching and learning resources that can be used in future years have been developed for department use.

By their participation, students have arrived at a sound academic understanding of the Anglican Church and gained an experiential sense of the life, spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England.

The project has been funded by a grant from the Church Universities Fund (Church of England). The fund has supported the Church of England Engagement Project in enhancing the Anglican character of Liverpool Hope University as a Cathedrals Group University.

 

Project Management Team Structure and Roles

James Proctor

 

Mr James Proctor

(Project Coordinator) 

Peter McGrail

 

Dr Peter McGrail

(Project Sponsor)

 

Meeting the Project’s Mission and Objectives

The project has impacted positively on two key areas of our students’ experience of the Anglican character of Liverpool Hope University:

  • Firstly, the embedding of a field based approach into the academic curriculum has provided our students with a very tangible experience of Anglican community which challenges the dislocation from local and national church identities which students often experience.
  • Secondly, it has modelled for our students the relevance of historic practices of worship, architecture and symbolism to the academic curriculum and broadened their concepts of knowledge, the nature of religious community, and of worship and reflection.

Moving on from their academic careers, students will be able to read historic texts relating to the Church of England and its worship, read the buildings in which Anglican worship is conducted, and relate to the experience of members of the church today.

 

Project Outcomes

  • Field visits have been successfully integrated into the undergraduate Christian Theology curriculum
  • A rich set of learning and teaching resources and practices have been made available so that the department is fully resourced and able to run field visits in future years, without the direct intervention of a project coordinator
  • The development of key documentation relating to the fundamental practicalities concerning the organisation and implementation of successful field visits (see 'Resources' tab)
  • A thorough evaluation process has been carried out during the project, identifying good practice and areas for improvement
  • Good relationships have been built with leaders and members of the congregations of the four field visit locations

Visit Locations

 

Undergraduate students of Christian Theology have had the opportunity to engage directly with the spirituality, worship and mission of the Church of England both in its historic and contemporary dimensions.

A total of four field visit locations have been visited each academic year as part of the project.

 

Exploring the Historic Context of the Church of England

Second year (level I) students visited both All Saints Church, Childwall and The Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park, Toxteth. In terms of course content, a particular emphasis was placed on the fragmentation of Protestantism through a critical engagement and analysis of sermons and related hagiographic literature of early seventeenth century Puritanism. The visits focused on engaging students with the historic dimension of the Church of England; engaging with the controversies and developing theology of the period in the local settings of Childwall and Toxteth, Liverpool.

 

All Saints Church in ChildwallAll Saints, Childwall

Context

In the weeks leading up to the visit, students explored the context of Catholic-Protestant relations in the parish of Childwall, Liverpool, with particular focus given to recusant riots in the Childwall area in 1600. On the day of the visit, two sermons originally preached in 1601 in the church, were read aloud from the pulpit with students being asked to consider the theological content of the sermons preached. Students were also given a tour of the church, reflecting on its key early seventeenth century architectural features. The visit also had an associated piece of assessment; a 750-word theological analysis both of the texts preached and of the architectural space of the church.

Sermons preached:

William Harrison and William Leigh, Death’s Advantage Little Regarded, and the Soul’s Solace Against Sorrow. Preached in Two Funeral Sermons at Childwall in Lancashire at the Burial of Mistress Catherine Brettargh, the third of June 1601. (London: Felix Kingston, 1602. Reprinted 1605)

All Saints Church website

 

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park in ToxtethAncient Chapel of Toxteth Park, Toxteth

Context

The visit to the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Park followed later in the academic year, with a focus on The Great Ejection of 1662. Students were again treated to another preaching experience, this time of extracts from the Farewell Sermons preached by non-conformist ministers immediately before their 'Ejections' in 1662. Some of the major issues explored included questioning what happened to the ejected ministers, the theological and political issues at stake, and what effect the Ejection had on the unity of the Protestant community in England. As this visit took place later in the academic year, students were asked to ascend the pulpit and partake in the preaching experience. Again, the visit had an associated piece of assessment; a 750-word theological analysis both of the texts preached and of the architectural space of the church. Students were therefore also given a tour of the church, reflecting on its key architectural features.

Sermons preached:

Farewell sermons preached by Mr. Calamy, Dr. Manton, Mr. Caryle [et. al.] (London, 1663)

 

Exploring the contemporary context of the Church of England (Level H students)

Third year (Level H) students visited both The Church of St John the Baptist and St James in the City. Students explored these two local Anglican parishes which embody very different contemporary expressions of Anglican Spirituality, Worship and Liturgy. In the run up to the field visits, students had been introduced to expressions of contemporary Christian spirituality including Pentecostalism, Charismatic Christianity and Fresh Expressions.

 

Church of Saint John the Baptist in TuebrookChurch of St John the Baptist, Tuebrook & St James in the City, Liverpool

To prepare for the visits, students were asked to work through a number of web links, videos and hand-outs with associated questions via the course Moodle (the University's Virtual Learning Environment). Resources included Twitter and Facebook pages, church websites and websites of other churches with similar or contrasting practices of contemporary spirituality. 

These particular visits took place a week or two apart. This allowed students to more closely compare and contrast the Anglo-Catholic emphases of St John, Tuebrook with the evangelical, charismatic approach of St James in the City.

Students were also encouraged (both by the University and ministers at the two churches) to attend a Sunday worship service. This allowed students to more fully experience the lived-out worship, mission and spirituality of the Church of England. Whilst not compulsory, students were encouraged to attend either as participants or as observers.

Both the field visits and Sunday worship service provided opportunities for students to meet not only with ministers, but also members of the congregation.

 

‌St James in the City Website

St John, Tuebrook Twitter Feed

Resources

 

Project Resources

A number of key resources have been developed which the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies can utilise effectively in future years. These include but are not limited to:

  • Field Visit Handbook – A toolkit for effectively organising, planning and administering field visits
  • Field Visit Documentation Template – An editable, generic template forming the key documentation for a field visit
  • Archive field visit documentation – all project visit documentation from the project's two years of field visits
  • Project Initiation Documentation (PID) – key project documentation outlining the current status, plans and controls of the project
  • Moodle resources – handouts, web links, sermons, ‘how-to’ guidance notes
  • Staff and student evaluations
  • All project reports including interim and end of year reports

Resources can be accessed by department colleagues (and colleagues across the Arts and Humanities Faculty) via the shared University network drive.

 

Field Visit Handbook

What is the handbook?

As the project evolved, it became clear that major guidance documentation concerning what is required to organise and execute a successful field visit was a major necessity. It was therefore suggested that a field visit handbook be produced for use by colleagues in the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The handbook is best defined as a toolkit for organising, planning and administering field visits. The version which has been distributed to colleagues is fully editable in Microsoft Word.

Work is underway on a generic version of a field visit handbook which can be accessed across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more widely across the University.

 

Key Features of the Handbook

The handbook contains practical guidance regarding the implementation of successful field visits, including:

  • How to set up the necessary field visit documentation (see 'Field Visit Documentation Template' below)
  • Advice regarding contacting the field visit location and what needs to be discussed in preparation for a visit
  • Arranging transport (if required)
  • Guidance concerning the production of risk assessment documentation
  • Health and safety guidance
  • Field visit approval process
  • How best to contact students and what information they need to be provided with
  • Practical advice for the day of the visit
  • Post-visit responsibilities

 

Download

Generic Field Visit handbook

Note: This is a condensed pdf version of the Field Visit Handbook. Please note, due to data protection, some information has been excluded.

 

Field Visit Documentation Template

What is the documentation template?

In order to implement engaging and successful field visits, it is necessary to ensure all practicalities and eventualities are covered. Complementing the Field Visit Handbook, a Field Visit Documentation Template has been developed in order to ensure that all practicalities are taken into account. This documentation was introduced at the very start of the project and continued to be used for all visits. Not only is the documentation ‘go-to’ reference material for colleagues, it also provides a written record of evidence for paper trail purposes.

Working seamlessly with the Handbook, the template has been designed in such a way as to allow colleagues to enter text where required, tick relevant check-boxes, and also provides guidance notes throughout.

Once completed, the documentation is distributed to the department administrator and all colleagues taking part in the field visit. The final copy is held by the field visit leader. This is approved and signed by the head of department and/or faculty Dean. 

The version which has been distributed to colleagues is fully editable in Microsoft Word.

 

Contents

The Field Visit Documentation Template comprises the following contents:

  • Visit location and contact details of named individuals
  • Timetable of visit
  • Staff and deputising arrangements
  • Details of course content – student preparation and expectations before and after the visit (rationale for the field visit / how it links in with the curriculum)
  • Pre-visit preparations and discussions with location
  • Full details of transport requirements (if applicable)
  • Health and safety considerations including full risk assessment documentation
  • Approval documentation

 

Download

Field Visit Documentation Template

Note: This is a condensed pdf version of the Field Visit Documentation Template. Please note, due to data protection, some information has been excluded.

Evaluation Videos

 

Student Evaluation 

Throughout the two-year project, project evaluation has played a key part in improving and evolving the field visit experience for students.

A student evaluation form was developed for each particular field visit. Students accessed the form via Moodle, the University's Virtual learning Environment. With the purchase of a video camera during the second year of the project, a number of video interviews were held with students who had visited and engaged with the project's locations.

During the first year of the project, a short staff evaluation form was sent on to tutorial/visit leaders to evaluate visits and their impact, with a particular emphasis on the project's mission and objectives. The video camera was again used during the project's second year to film interviews with members of the department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies who had led tutorials during the project's lifetime.

Formal feedback has been collated and qualitative accounts of staff and students' experience are kept on file.

 

Field Visit Interviews - Students

Interviews with Level I (second year) and Level H (third year) students.

 

  

Field Visit Interviews - Departmental Staff

An interview with Dr Peter McGrail (Project Sponsor and Level I tutorial leader) and Dr Andrew Cheatle (Level H tutorial leader).