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Chaplain first for Wiltshire
By Mark Jones
BBC Wiltshire

Rev Katie Windle
Rev Windle hopes to build bridges in Malmesbury

For most a school chaplain is associated with private boarding schools but now a state primary school in the county has its very own.

Malmesbury Church of England Primary School has welcomed the Rev Katie Windle after a commissioning ceremony.

Rev Windle is also Assistant Minister at the town's abbey after moving from Bath.

It's the first time a Wiltshire primary school has employed a chaplain - also believed to be the first in the West.

The pioneering role is seen as being very exciting for the mum of three.

Rev Windle said: "I love children and have an interest in schools as I am a trained teacher."

Its about building trust between the church and the children
Rev Katie Windle

"It's fun and it'll be interesting to see what happens. I've had some experience of being a chaplain in a secondary school."

"My main role is to support pupils, staff and families. It's quite a broad role, taking some assemblies and helping with RE lessons. And I see myself as building a bit of a bridge between the school and the abbey."

She also sees her role as helping families, whatever their faith, whether they have one or not.

"I will be here to listen to the children. It's as simple as that."

Rev Windle continued: "The main thing is to build people's trust about the church and that it is involved in their lives. I want to try and break down some of those barriers between some of the children and adults so coming in to church isn't a totally alien experience."

Katie Windle is now looking forward to preparing the 402 pupils of Malmesbury C of E Primary School for Lent and Easter.

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