Friendship the Focus of Diocesan Schools Service

By Lynn Glanville

Diocesan Schools

Hundreds of pupils from all over Dublin and Glendalough gathered in Christ Church Cathedral this morning (Thursday October
9) for the annual Diocesan Service for Primary Schools and Junior Schools. The theme this year was friendship.

Archbishop Michael Jackson presided and the pupils and their teachers were welcomed to the cathedral by Dean Dermot Dunne.

The address was given by the Revd Nigel Mackey, chaplain to Wesley College, Dublin. Starting with a trust exercise involving volunteers plucked from the congregation, he observed that the four guys didn’t know each other before the service but, through the exercise, they had done something that would have been impossible for them to do on their own.

He said this was a powerful image of friendship and pointed out that Jesus didn’t try to save the world by himself,
he chose to do it with friends, people who he loved dearly. Mr Mackey said that sometimes there were people in our lives who were hard to love, pointing to Judas who was an “awkward character” but Jesus loved him nonetheless. He added that it was important to go out of our way to be friends with people on the fringes.

Diocesan Schools ServiceThere would be times in life, he said, when we all feel alone but he said that when we are friends with God we are never alone. “If we put our trust in him he won’t let us hit the floor. I want to encourage you to think about a God who adores us so much that we will never be alone,” he said.

Pupils from many schools took part in the service with prayers being read by Booterstown NS, Greenlanes NS, Delgany NS,
Jonathan Swift NS in Dunlavin, Castleknock NS, St Saviour’s in Rathdrum,
Finglas NS and Old Boro NS. Readings were by Rathfarnham NS and Taney Parish NS.

Greeting people on their way into the cathedral were pupils from Blessington No 1 School, St Patrick’s NS in Greystones, Sandford Parish NS and St Andrew’s NS in Bray. Taking up the collection, which was in aid of the ISPCC, were pupils from All Saints’ NS in Blackrock, St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School, The Burrow School in Sutton and Nun’s Cross NS.

Diocesan SchoolsPupils from Powerscourt NS, St Catherine’s NS on Donore Avenue and Whitechurch NS showcased their drumming skills and after only 30 minutes of practice before the service put on an excellent show.

The service is organised by a committee set up by the Diocesan Board of Education and chaired by the Revd Niall Sloane. It was attended by representatives of the Department of Education and Skills, the INTO and the Church of Ireland College of Education.

Photo captions:

Top – Pupils from Powerscourt NS, St Catherine’s NS on Donore Ave and Whitechurch NS drumming.

Middle – The Revd Nigel Mackey and his volunteers engaged in the trust exercise.

Bottom – Dr Ken Fennelly, Secretary to the Board of Education (RI); Dr Anne Lodge, Principal …read more

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