PUPILS AT ST JOSEPH and St Theresa's primary school in Bumtwood, Staffordshire are witnessing first hand the construction of their new parish church.
Work on St Joseph's Catholic Church commenced last October when Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham visited the site to lay the foundation stone. Builders also buried a time capsule prepared by the children.
This month the pupils returned to the site to see how work was progressing. Pat Davies, headteacher at the primary school, said the protect had generated a lot of interest and excitement.
"A group pf pupils attended the ceremony to bless the site when building work began last September and we also helped prepare a time capsule that was laid with the foundation stone when the Archbishop of Birmingham visited the site to conduct that ceremony in October," she said.
She continued: "In this instance, they learned the importance of safety on a building site during assembly and then coach rides were run to the site throughout the day where they put on hard hats and fluorescent jackets before being given the opportunity to lay a brick."
She added: "They have been very interested in how the building work has progressed so they enjoyed this visit."
The school and church have always enjoyed strong ties. The primary school was started in the church before the school building was constructed. Church officials in the diocese insist that the close association will remain even though the new church is being built on a site in Burntwood.
Completion on the project is expected in Spring this year. The new church will, have seating for 250 people. as well as on-site parking for 60 cars and will incorporate stained glass windows and a number of other features which are being taken from the original building.
A significant proportion of the funding for the project will be raised from the sale of the old church, St Joseph's on New Street, Chasetown. Parish priest Fr Stephen Squires said the new design would be better suited to the needs of the mdoern liturgy.