Discover your local history at St Stephens.

Guided Introductions and videos


We offer a wide range of activities at St Stephens Church, each of these begins with an introduction by one of our team. But if you want to make a general visit then we are still happy to welcome you and give you a short introduction covering health and safety in the building and grounds and an introduction to history and purpose of the building. Also available to you are videos introducing the history of Bowling; each video is about 5 minutes long. There is an option for Key Stage 1 and lower Key Stage 2, and a second for upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.


If you would like a guided introduction and a ‘History of Bowling’ video please contact us using the enquiries form at the back of this booklet.


Additional spaces available for you.


Storytelling Room

We have a storytelling room complete with a small library of books suitable for

Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2 pupils. This spaces seats 10 pupils comfortably.


Storytelling Garden

In addition to our indoor space we have a fantastic storytelling garden space, complete with its own storytelling throne.


Outdoor spaces

We have multiple outdoor spaces, including; a football pitch, grass playing field, plant and vegetable growing beds and exercise equipment.

Hands on History


At St Stephens we want your students to have a really enjoyable as well as educational visit, to help achieve this we have a series of interactive stations. We aim to make exploring local history a fascinating experience and make students proud of where they live.


Historical Maps (activity duration 35 minutes)

Maps are a fascinating way of exploring the change in land use, buildings, work, living and recreational activities. We have high quality maps from the 1850s through to the 1950s. These maps can also be used in conjunction with the handling objects from the display cases to give a greater understanding of terms such as ‘mill’, ‘reservoir’, ‘quarry’ and ‘mine’. We also have a series of photos from Bradford Heritage Recording Unit showing over the last 100 years.


What is in a building? (activity duration 35 minutes)

Your pupils can explore the physical materials that make the building of St Stephens, safely handle samples of stone, wood, glass and metal. By using three spinners students are challenged to explore the language we use to talk about building materials. The vocabulary is split into three categories; the name of the material, the texture and the appearance and properties.


Dyeing Days (activity duration 35 minutes)

West Bowling became world renowned for the dyeing industry, due to its unprecedented scale and the ingenuity to create colours that were not available anywhere else. This interactive table helps children to understand the origins of the dyeing industry by looking at the range of plants that were used to create dyes. They will learn about how we can extract chemicals from our local plants to create the colours in the world around us.


Stained Glass (activity duration 35 minutes)

The stained glass in St Stephens is one of the most architectural and historical features. There are three strong themes in the St Stephens windows; the death and resurrection of Jesus, the parables of Jesus and the great West Window is designed to depict the glory of heaven. There are a variety of guides to help your students explore the windows. There is also a six person lightbox table that can help pupils explore how colours change when they overlap and when light passes through it. Students can also practice tessellating shapes and creating patterns.


Could you be a Victorian Child (activity duration 35 minutes)

Costume is a great way to engage in history, each child can dress up, boys can put on a woollen waist coat and a flat cap, girls can put on a mop cap, a pinafore and a shawl. These clothing choices are supported by historical photographs of children in Bradford from the early 1900s. Once dressed up pupils are given a case study of a typical job a Victorian child would have had to carry out. Jobs include the purefinder, a bird scarer, mill workers and maids.


Symbols of faith (activity duration 35 minutes)

St Stephens Church like many churches has symbols spread throughout it. The symbols table encourages students to look around and learn how to read the church. The table highlights details in windows, the font, wooden furniture and the textiles.

The First World War and West Bowling (activity duration 2 hours)


The First World War had a considerable impact on West Bowling, with hundreds of men from across the district signing up for active service. St Stephens Church is the home of the memorials commemorating those who did not return. We have researched the lives of all those listed on the memorials. We have tried to capture the story in a range of ways, a pop up exhibition with activities, a drama, maps and handling resources.


Your visit is led by a member of our team, your visit will consist of;


  • Exhibition and supporting activities

  • Video of the drama ‘Remembering the Fallen of West Bowling’

  • Time exploring the memorials

  • Guided use of the handling collection


We aim to hold live performances of ‘Remembering the Fallen of West Bowling’ during Remembrance week November 11th to 15th.


Second World War - Coming soon 

We will be hosting special events and providing resources to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

We will advertise details as soon as the programme is confirmed.

Students Explore Memorials.JPG