On Tuesday 5th November the Year 7 pupils from St Edmund Arrowsmith and Byrchall High school gathered together in St Thomas’ Church for our annual Ecumenical Services. This is always a fantastic opportunity to gather together as a wider faith community and explore the different gifts and talents each individual pupil and school has to offer our community here in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

The service was led by Sue Thomas from St Thomas’s and Maria Ruane our Chaplain here in school. We heard readings and prayers themed around using the many gifts that have been given to us by God. Pupils from both schools took it in turns to read the readings and personalised prayers and it was really lovely.

Four of our year seven pupils answered some questions about the service – here’s what they had to say.

1.What did you enjoy the most about your Y7 Ecumenical Service?

 Mia R 7A: I really enjoyed the whole congregation singing together the joint hymns I always thought that both our schools were very different                   from one another but singing together proved that we are not. It was also really nice that both schools got to sing their own songs and hymns                     which showcased some of our talents.

2.What did you take away with you from the service?

Isabelle C 7A: I took away with me a bigger sense of community knowing that Byrchall and St Edmund Arrowsmith, even though we may have different faiths, still belong to the same Christian family and wider local community. I also learned that we all have a wide range of gifts and talents to offer and that we shouldn’t hide them away and instead we should celebrate them like we did in our service.

3.What is your gift/talent?

Poppy O’D 7A: My talent is swimming. I do pool swimming competitively as well as open water swimming competitively. I also am starting to train for triathlons – the inspiration for all of this comes from my dad and Lucy Charles Barclay. I would love to be like her one day because she is a great example of putting the gifts we have been given by God into practice.

4. Do you think it is important to take part in Ecumenical Services?

Shona B 7A: I think it is important because it is nice to see both schools together and in some ways it helps to end the rivalry between us. It can help us in the real world too because the things we discussed during the service can be used to help us better our lives. When we started in year seven we had our own welcome Mass to welcome us into our Catholic community at St Edmund Arrowsmith. It was nice, therefore to have an additional service with our neighbouring school Byrchall to welcome us into the wider Christian community that we are equally apart of. I think we should take part in more ecumenical activities in the future years at high school.