Thank you so much to everyone at St Peter’s Catholic Primary in Waterlooville who raised a fantastic £569.47 for our ‘Brighten Up’ Harvest appeal earlier this term! That is AMAZING! Thank you all so much for all your hard work in raising this for our partners around the world.
Our Education Volunteers, Patrick and Isobel Flynn, told us,
“The Headteacher, Mr Cunningham, and all the children started our assembly by giving us a really warm welcome back to St Peter’s.
“Mr Cunningham reminded everyone that, on our last visit, we talked about Harvest and donated a compost bin to the school but took our wriggly worms home with us. We were delighted to follow up on this by thanking the whole school for their incredible efforts to ‘Brighten Up’ for Harvest this year.
“Isobel requested that some members of the School Council come to the front of the assembly where she presented them with a special ‘Thank You Certificate’ from CAFOD for raising the staggering sum of £569.47. Needless to say, the children were familiar with what CAFOD stands for and they were very keen to tell us so!
“We then began our special Advent assembly by asking the children to think about any special gifts that they may have received in the past and any gifts they would like to receive for Christmas. The children were then asked to think about a present that would make a real difference to someone’s life.
“Focusing on the Nativity story, Isobel and I then told the children that we were going to hear some stories from CAFOD’s partners which would help us build a Nativity scene. Five children volunteered to read some short passages from the Nativity story and as they read each stage of the story, a new ‘gift’ was revealed which linked to CAFOD’s work throughout the world.
“The first passage focused on the donkey in the Bible story that carried something very special; Mary and Jesus. We then told the children that in Ethiopia, donkeys are a valuable asset for families. They are also often the only means of getting sick people to health clinics, many of which are miles away.
“We then looked at the next part of the story when there was no room for the Holy Family at the Inn. However, as Mary was about to have her baby, the family was allowed to stay in the place where the animals were, including the oxen.
“We explained that in Ethiopia, cows are very important and we shared the story of Afera, a young mother who lives in northern Ethiopia with her six children and her husband, an injured war veteran, who is unable to farm the land. CAFOD partners provided the family with a cow which gave birth to calves a few months later. The cows produce about 8 litres of milk a day which Afera uses to make butter to then sell at the local market.
“We told the children that the ‘Marvellous Moo Cow‘ is just one of many other World Gifts which people can buy and give at Christmas time to their friends and family. These gifts benefit communities in a range of countries across the world and make a real difference to the lives of the people who receive them. We also showed the children a couple of gift certificates which we have already received and will soon be sending someone for Christmas.”
“To round off the assembly, we then reminded the children of the amazing Corporal Works of Mercy they have achieved already this year by ‘giving drink to the thirsty’, ‘feeding the hungry’ and ‘welcoming the outsider’. We recalled that some children had made a pilgrimage to Oaklands School Chapel and that our parish and Pastoral Area had made a Pilgrimage to St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth as part of our Year of Mercy devotions.
“It was our pleasure to present the school with a Scallop Shell as a memento of their journey and we asked them to continue to perform their wonderful Works of Mercy throughout the coming years. We concluded with our prayer and thanking the Headteacher, staff and children for inviting us to their assembly.
“Mr Cunningham drew the assembly to a close by reminding the children that any and every donation makes a real difference to the lives of those whom CAFOD is supporting.”
Thank you very much to everyone at St Peter’s for all their ongoing support and thank you to Patrick and Isobel for delivering this lovely assembly.