How did you spend St. Patrick's Day? Normal day in school, at work or in the house? Well it was anything but normal for Mr Henry's P4 pupils! They were invited to attend the Church of Ireland's St Patrick's Day celebrations in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. What a day it turned out to be!
The class started their morning by stopping traffic (literally) to meet the 'pilgrims' on their prayer walk from Saul Church to Down Cathedral - an annual event for the Diocese of Down and Dromore in the Church of Ireland. (Saul is where Patrick established his first church many hundreds of years ago.) There they met Bishop Harold Miller and many friendly faces, young and old, and gave out prayer cards with some words of Patrick's famous 'breastplate' prayer on them as a gift from Brooklands Primary. The class then unfurled a special banner (beautifully created by Mr Henry's artistic wife) and led the pilgrimage up the hill to Down Cathedral. Mr Henry was handed the cross and he led everyone accompanied by a piper!
Once at the Cathedral, the class took their front row seats for a special church service. In his talk, Bishop Harold used Jonah (from the Old Testament in the Bible) as an example of someone who, like Patrick, first said 'NO' to God when they were told to go somewhere to tell people to turn to God - Jonah to Ninevah and Patrick a second time to Ireland.
Following the service, the class led out the procession to St Patrick's Grave in the grounds of the Cathedral where they placed flowers, another annual tradition. An Irish stew and apple tart lunch was served in a large marquee to end the day.
Huge thanks to Bishop Harold and the staff at Down and Dromore diocese for the invite and all their help and advice in putting things together. 8 mums from the class came along too - and their help was greatly appreciated by Mr Henry and Mr McCartney.
It was definitely a St Patrick's Day that everyone, young and old(er!) will not forget in a hurry!
More details in the News section of : www.downanddromore.org