Bishop Richard visited St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Thames Ditton on the 29 June, to celebrate the feast day of St Peter and St Paul, and mark the occasion by officially opening and blessing their newly-created prayer garden.
With plans to open the prayer garden in 2020 put on hold due to COVID-19, the school were delighted to finally enjoy this momentous occasion. All pupils and staff enjoyed a beautiful mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, led by the Bishop, where the singing from several Y6 children filled the church delightfully. After the mass, every single child in the school placed a pebble, inscribed with their name, in the prayer garden, which was a truly touching moment for the children. After a moment of quiet contemplation, Bishop Richard blessed the garden and cut the ribbon, to a resounding cheer. As restrictions ease, the school are looking forward to opening the garden fully to the wider community.
The school R.E .Council were lucky enough to spend some time with the Bishop, sharing some of the activities they have been working on: the crowning of Mary, a whole school rosary challenge, a giant Sacred Heart of Jesus...and Bishop Richard’s personal favourite: Mary puppets! The children relished asking the Bishop questions (learning that he has met three Popes, travelled to many countries, and loves cheese!).
In the afternoon, the Bishop was able to tour the school and meet all of the classes. Each child in the school was presented with their own Bible, to use in school until they leave at the end of Y6. The children had a fantastic day, and relished being apart of this truly memorable occasion.
Alongside this, St Paul’s had just been awarded their Eco-badge, for their efforts in conservation and protecting the environment. Not to miss the opportunity, Bishop Richard blessed the new flag, which was then erected proudly on the pole by the School Eco-Committee. A well-deserved award, after considerable hard work!
The Bishop was impressed by the children and staff of the school and thoroughly enjoyed his visit.