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Manchester Buddhist Centre

A place of peace: Manchester Cathedral and Manchester Buddhist Centre

What are we trying to achieve?

Pupils are given the opportunity to:

  • explore two contrasting places of worship
  • consider sources of peace and reflect upon religious attitudes towards peace and justice
  • discuss peace and justice in relation to contemporary issues
  • experience peacefulness through the lighting of candles and a meditative “stilling” exercise

Peace Manchester cathedral

Who is involved?

The locations can cater for a wide range of learners, including GCSE and special needs groups. The trail is suitable for pupils from Key Stages 2 – 4 and is adapted as appropriate. Group sizes can be between 12 and 45 accompanied pupils. A lunch space is provided at the Cathedral.
The Cathedral and Buddhist Centre are within easy walking distance of one another.

Preparation

To gain the most from the experience, it is helpful for pupils to have an understanding of Christian and Buddhist worship and to consider how to behave in a sacred space.

How did we organise the learning?

At Manchester Cathedral pupils are taken on a trail of the mediaeval building to consider what a peaceful place is and to learn about Christian teachings on peace. They are invited to discuss issues of war and peace in the Regiment Chapel, badly damaged in WW2, and again in 1996 by an IRA bomb. At the end of the visit, pupils may light candles and offer prayers or poems for peace.

Peace Manchester Buddhist CentreAfter lunch, pupils visit the specially converted Manchester Buddhist Centre. Pupils look at how the building has been specifically designed to be a place of peace and consider Buddhist teachings about peace. Issues of peace and justice are discussed and pupils participate in a meditative stilling exercise.

This is an experiential religious education trail, where pupils can learn about and from religion by participating in a number of activities. The trail also covers aspects of history, citizenship and geography.

What was the impact of the experience?

Teacher comments:

‘The trail allowed the children to recognise peace within themselves rather than their surroundings.’

‘This visit made the children think about peace and war and its consequences.’

‘Pupils had the opportunity to reflect and experience.’

‘Good clear links were made to the GCSE material.’

‘Just what the children needed!’

Follow up

Back at school, teachers continued to develop some of the themes covered during the trail, for example inviting students to participate in stilling exercises, or write poems or prayers promoting peace. Some schools developed ideas for creating their own peace garden.

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