PUPILS at a Weymouth school helped solve a murder mystery when their Christingle service was interrupted by a crime.

Bincombe Valley Primary School enjoyed learning about Christianity when police and church representatives acted out a murder investigation in St Francis of Assisi Church, Merredin Close.

Carol singing was interrupted by PC Christine Gould who burst in to tell the Key Stage one classes that she needed help in solving a crime.

The evidence collected told the story of the Christingle and explained the meaning behind the advent celebration, traditionally held on Christmas Eve.

Annette Cobb, deputy head, said: “Our trip to St Francis was a coming together of our school, the police and our local church. We think it’s important for our children to interact with the community as much as possible, right here in Weymouth.

“There’s no need to go out on coach trips miles away because we have great trips out within walking distance of the school.”

Year two pupils went up to the alter to have their Christingles lit and all the children took part in some zealous carol singing.

Each child had made their own Christingle in a classroom project to learn about advent and Christmas.

Rachel Anderson, a Year two teacher, said: “It’s good to have the links and although we’re not a church school we do put a lot of importance on teaching religious education.

“The Programme for Applied Christian Education team come in every week and the children really enjoy it.”

She added: “They make it interesting for the children here, which is great because they will never enjoy church if it’s quiet and boring.

“We had our Nativity last month as well so it all ties in really well together as part of a wider project to teach them about the meaning behind Christmas.”

The service was also attended by members of the public, including parents and families of the schoolchildren.

Darren Dalton, a parish worker who led the service, said: “Our church mission statement is to be part of the community so having schools coming to worship here with us is one of our most important factors.

“We want to share that mission and also have fun doing it.

He added: “People should enjoy being in church and families don’t need to feel stressed that their children are making too much noise.

“Today was about teaching the children the message of Christianity and the love Jesus has for every one of them.”