Sunday School

There was a recent programme on BBC 4 (some of the best programmes seem to be on BBC 4 lately!) on Sunday Schools - the rise from humble beginnings with Robert Raikes, Hannah More and William Wilberforce - to a massive attendance in the Edwardian years and on to the slow decline after the 1950s. I myself have fond memories of Sunday school. The programme editor stated that we would realise one day what a sad loss the demise of Sunday Schools would be. There are Sunday schools dotted here and there but with nowhere near the numbers in attendance that there used to be. Evangelical churches in particular do have classes for children and youth. Sunday school classes were not always at the same time as Church but this never bothered my generation who were used to to-ing and fro-ing on foot as children, being more independent in soem ways, and not having to be taken and collected by parents in a car to our chosen destination. The inconvience of timing of Sunday school for today's busy parents is probably another factor. It would be just one more thing they would have to fit in on a Sunday morning. But not only is the demise of Sunday Schools sad for future generations but I suspect too the demise of going to Church on a Sunday. An activity which gave a sense of belonging and felowship, as well as some structure and meaning to life; morals learnt and church seasons celebrated and an oasis of calm in the week and a meaning and a purpose, other than just making money, to starting the rest of the working week. This programme Sunday School, Reading Writing and Redemption can be seen on the BBC i player.


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