Thursday, 11th December, 2014
Well - what a day! Purple Thursday had been looming large in my thoughts and prayers and it didn't disappoint, although it did exhaust! It started early with final preparations for our Advent Service in St. Julie's and we managed to fit in a full run through during registration, Sacred Time and period 1. I have to say that everyone involved was magnificent and when we got to leading the service for Y10,11 and 13 the team was like a well-oiled machine! I was especially thankful for the way in which everyone in the team responded to the Come, Jesus, Come (Break the chains) prayer section being dropped on them just about 20 minutes before the first service, never having heard it before! (We also had a bit of a giggle at the slight misread when one of our readers beseeched Jesus to "Break the chains of welfare" instead of "warfare".) However, everything went swimmingly in both services and Y7, Y8, Y9 and Y12 sang really well during period 3.
My abiding memory will be the generosity of both pupils and staff in bringing in foodstuffs for our local foodbank - Hope Plus - which they laid at the feet of the infant Jesus. It was also great for Y7 to take the donations to the Cathedral in the afternoon from where they will be distributed. The Cathedral trip was terrific and the staff were so generous in giving up marking and preparation time to ensure this trip went ahead. So thanks to all of them but especially Miss Bricknell and Mrs Hayden who did so much of the organisation.
I think the moment I'll treasure most was seeing the 'wide-eyed-ness' (I know it's not a word but I hope you get the meaning) of the Y7 pupils as they entered this magnificent sacred space. We enjoyed singing the carols in the service led by All Hallows, Preston but we were most impressed by the glittery stars of the primary school next to us! In two years time, St. Julie's is leading this service and we have a hard act to follow. Well done, All Hallows!
By the time we got back to school, I was ready for the pizza which Mr Willis had organised prior to Y11/13 Achievements Evening. The caretakers and others had been hard at work changing the configuration of the Sports Hall and the evening went really well. Our guest speaker, Winifred Robinson (a former Notre Dame girl) was inspirational. She is now a much admired BBC radio presenter and she recounted the influences on her life and gave some practical advice as well on how to be the best you can be! It was lovely to see the pupils and former pupils receiving their certificates and awards but what was even nicer was seeing the reaction of their families. How proud they were of their children! So well done all of you for making it special for your families!
Tomorrow, I'm judging the Modern Languages SongFest! I'm not quite sure what it is but I did say 'yes' a while ago. I'm guessing if the Modern Languages Department are running it, it will be great. Certainly, this department has a reputation for baking cakes and they have a Christmas Market organised for next week so I'm hoping they offer sweet hospitality to the judges!
I'll also get some photos of the Advent Service and post them. Maddeningly, I forgot to take a camera to the Cathedral so missed the chance to take a few snapshots! Never mind, there's always next year!