Christmas Food Bank Collection

The food bank were delighted with your contributions to their Christmas food boxes through our Las Posadas initiative. Eighty additional boxes were prepared including some festive treats. Many thanks for your generosity and we hope you enjoyed hosting Mary and Joseph (and their donkey) and sharing the Christmas story in your homes.

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Pupil Chaplains

Our pupil chaplains have been busy writing Christmas cards for all our volunteers, and for parishioners who live on their own or have illness.  We are hoping some of them might like to come to visit us for tea when the weather is a little warmer.

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Year 5 & Year 6 Music Compositions

Over the last half term, Years 5 and 6 have been working together, with award-winning composer David Fawcett, to write lyrics and compose music for two new songs.  Year 5 used our school motto – Be loving and truthful – and the Gospel values as themes for their lyrics while year 6 used Pope Francis’ letter to the world, Laudato Si, as their inspiration.

You can listen to the songs here:

Year 5: Be Loving and Truthful

Year 6: It Starts With Just One Feeling

Carol Service at St Edward’s

Thank you to everyone who came to our Carol Service at St Edward’s.  It was a lovely service which the children led with great confidence.  The band, made up from staff and pupils, provided accompaniment to the congregational carols whilst David Fawcett played piano for all the musical items.

Years 5 and 6 premiered the school songs which they have been writing in their music lessons with David Fawcett – the year 5 song, Be loving and Truthful,  is linked to our school motto and Gospel values whilst the year 6 song used Laudato Si (the Pope’s letter to the world) as their inspiration.

Thank you also for your generous donations for Nakirebe Primary School in Uganda –  just over £160.

Las Posadas Liturgy

Yesterday, Year 6 led the whole school in a liturgy to celebrate the beginning of Advent and the start of Las Posadas at St Mary’s. They started the worship by bringing candles into the dark hall to represent the light of Jesus bringing light to the dark places of our world and lives.

They then explained the South American tradition of Las Posadas and how the Holy Family search for a place to stay.  Through Advent, each family will be taking Mary and Joseph back to their homes to stay overnight.  They will offer them shelter and, to represent the meal they might have shared with them, they will then bring a gift of food for the Swanage food bank. In the Posada pack there is a book to keep and share together explaining all about the ‘New Noisy Neighbour’.

We asked for God’s blessing on Mary and Joseph as they travel to our homes this Advent – reminding us of the journey they had to undertake and encouraging us to give generously to those who do not have what they need to live safe and happy lives, and to pray for those – especially refugees and migrants – who are still forced to make journeys which put them in danger and take them away from their families, friends and homes.

We were reminded that as we enter the season of Advent, a time of joyful expectation, we wait in hope for Christmas and the birth of a baby King filled with love and compassion.

We look forward to seeing your photographs of Mary and Joseph whilst they are staying with you; you can email them to the school office office@stmarysswanage.dorset.sch.uk

Remembrance

1516_remembrance-2.jpgNovember is the month when we remember those who have died in wars and conflicts, and we pray for peace, and for an end to all wars and conflicts in the world today.  We also remember and pray for the Holy Souls, the people we loved who have died; and we commend them to God and pray for their souls, that he will bring them to be with him. 

At St Mary’s we have reflected this in our entrance focal point; pupils have completed art work using remembrance and poppies as a theme, written prayers for peace and some of them represented St Mary’s at the Town Remembrance Service at St Mary’s Parish Church.

Singing at St Mary’s Church

Thirty children from years 5 and 6 enjoyed joining together with a group of pupils from St Mark’s School for an afternoon of singing at St Mary’s Parish Church.  David Fawcett led them through a singing workshop and the children then took part in a service of Compline which parents came to share.

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Harvest Mass

A huge thank you to everyone for your generous donations to the local food bank and for supporting CAFOD’s Brighten up Harvest appeal – money raised is currently £160!  The school chaplains will be delivering the food to the food bank sometime next week.