The 13th and 14th June saw primary school children from all over the Diocese attending mass in Clifton Cathedral. Over the two days there were over 1800 children all of whom are leaving primary school this year to move to their new secondary schools. The masses began with a procession of banners from all the schools present creating a riot of colour at the start. During the year pupils had been considering how they could put the ‘Year of Mission’ into action and at the mass they brought symbols to represent the work they had done during the year. The homilies at the mass were given by Canon Bernard Massey and Fr Matt Anscombe both of whom talked about the Parable of the Sower , our Gospel, and what this might mean in our lives.
For the pupils the day provides an opportunity to celebrate and pray with other pupils and to thank their teachers for all they have done. For many pupils as well it was also their first opportunity to see the Cathedral itself. It was a day of real celebration and hope for the future. Many schools asked the Bishop to be part of their photographs and pupils said they would treasure these as a reminder of their primary school days. The day would not have been possible without the help of Bishop Declan and the priests who came with their primary schools, the cathedral music department and all the cathedral staff and stewards. Many of the schools travelled long distances to be present and all staff worked hard over the year to prepare the pupils and to do the practical organisation. Both masses were prayerful occasions as well as real celebrations of their time in primary school.