Our Diamond Jubilee Mass
In November we celebrated our Diamond jubilee with a whole-school Mass. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop John Arnold and the concelebrants were Canon Peter Wilkinson and Fr Brian Murphy. The theme of the Mass was "Letting all Our Bright Colours Shine" and at the beginning everyone present had reflection time as they listened to the beautiful voice of Annica Kelly singing Ave Maria. The introductory hymn 'This Little Light of Mine' was then sung by all those present.
The most important part of our celebration Mass was the fact that pupils from all year groups took part in the Mass in a variety of ways.
The teaching of the Word of God in the first reading was from St. Paul's letter to Timothy, read by Joshua Swarbrick (year 10), reminding the pupils to have belief in themselves 'Do not let people disregard you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity'. Maisie Ahern (year 10) read the Responsorial Psalm which was reminding us that 'The Lord is my light and my salvation'. The Gospel reading was from St. John's Gospel where he helped us to remember that Jesus is 'The Light of the World' - bearing witness to our school as one of "Letting all our Bright Colours Shine. In the homily, Bishop John talked about the importance of Fisher More in the local community, and its history and reputation in educating the young in the Catholic faith. He also reminded pupils about the difficulties of making the right choices in life and he also made links to the difficult decisions he has to make as Bishop.
To reflect the fact that we have pupils of many nationalities and backgrounds in our school, the Prayer of the Faithful was read by some pupils in their native languages - Polish, Spanish, Punjabi and English - and then translated into English for everyone present. We offered prayers of intercession for world leaders, educators, our parish and school community, members of our school community who are deceased, Bishop John and the diocesan community and for Our Lady's intercession.
During the offertory procession everyone sang 'Take Our Bread' and the gifts of bread and wine were brought to the Altar. After everyone had received Holy Communion, some year 11 pupils read prayers of thanksgiving which they had written themselves. These prayers focused on giving thanks for family, friends, education and the gift of faith. Our celebration Mass concluded with the whole school - almost lifting the roof - singing our school hymn 'Shine, Jesus Shine'.
Ms Hayes thanked Bishop John, Canon Wilkinson and Fr Murphy for the beautiful celebration of the Eucharist. She also presented Bishop John with a plaque that will go on the door of the new Library Resource Centre when it is built and it will be dedicated to Bishop John.
The Altar servers, who are also members of our Gift team, were thanked by Bishop John for their mature and respectful support. The school choir was magnificent on the day and we thank Dr Cheetham for his hard work in preparation and practice for our 60th celebration Mass.
Following the celebration Mass, all pupils were given celebration 'choc-pops' and had an extended break. School staff shared celebration cake, which was created in our school colours, with Bishop John and the invited guests who included Governors, Primary School Headteachers, past members of staff and previous Head teachers.
It was a truly memorial day reflecting the hard work, dedication and community nature of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More.