What a busy final week Year 3 have had to this term with a visit to St Martin in the Bullring church. After a walk to the train station, a short train ride into the city centre and then another walk through the Bullring we arrived! Christina the Famillies’ Missioner met us and showed us round the church.
Year 3 were astounded to hear the church was built in 1873 and is an example of gothic Victorian architecture, designed by Alfred Chatwin, from Birmingham, who also worked on the Houses of Parliament. But St Martin’s is much older than that. There has been a church on this site since the year 1290!
Christina showed Year 3 the baptism font and told us more about how the ceremony is performed. Year 3 were able to share some of their RE learning with Christina. Although St Martin is a place or worship , it also holds a lot of history , from the original St Martin to events in the second world war. There are many stained glass windows sharing stories from the Bible, from both the past and modern day . As we are fast approaching the Christian festival of Christmas, Year 3 were able to locate an Advent Crown, a Christmas tree with a bright star on the top and also a nearly life size Nativity scene where the manger lay empty, waiting for the baby Jesus.
Two members of Year 3 were invited to tie a purple ribbon onto the Advent tree and to also light a candle in the prayer chapel.
Who Was St Martin?
St Martin was a soldier. He was born in Hungary in 316 and never wanted to join the army but was obliged to by law. At the age of 18, he was posted to Amiens in France. One bitterly cold winter’s night he was riding through the city when he saw a half-naked beggar huddled against a wall. Martin was so moved by the sight that he cut his cloak with his sword and gave one half to the beggar.
That night he had a dream in which Christ appeared to him as the beggar and thanked Martin for clothing him. In response, the young soldier got baptised. Later he was to leave the army to become a soldier of Christ, eventually becoming Bishop of Tours in France. St Martin is remembered today for his service to the poor.
A huge thanks to Christina for her time and patience in giving Year 3 a tour and also answering many questions.