More than 530 10-11 year old children from our church schools lifted the roof of St Woolos’ Newport Cathedral at their Diocesan Leavers’ Services last week; they were celebrating their transition to the next important chapter of their lives – secondary education!
Two services were arranged – on Friday 15 June and Tuesday 19 June – in order to ensure everyone could participate. After an initial “warm up” of Alleluia waves across the cathedral, Dr Annette Daly – the Diocesan Director of Education – introduced the service theme of “Encouragement: Be not afraid…” before handing over to the schools for a creative dramatic depiction of the gospel story: Jesus calms the storm.
Bishop Richard talked with the leavers about how they can also call on Jesus to help them during difficult times, and then pupils from different schools offered up their own prayer compositions based on the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Wooden olive crosses were distributed to the children, and blessed by the bishop, with a reminder that their crosses are a sign of their faith and Christian values and that Jesus is with them always.
A prayer stone reflection, led by Dr Daly, enabled the children to prayerfully review the last seven years of their school lives and to look forward to the next seven years of their lives – knowing that Jesus will be with them through it all: the good times and the challenging times.
High fives of encouragement were shared enthusiastically around the Cathedral. This was followed by everyone joining together to say the Lord’s Prayer in words and actions. After a final blessing from Bishop Richard, the schools processed out with their school banners for photo opportunities outside.
We were delighted to see all our church primary school leavers and hold them in prayer as they make their transition to secondary school!