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The Good Shepherd Celebration 2019

Almost 700 children, young people and staff from schools across the Diocese gathered in St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds for the Good Shepherd Celebration, presided over by Bishop Marcus, on Friday 24th May 2019. As is tradition the celebration started with the Procession of the Banners before Carol Hill (Director of Catholic Care) welcomed all present to the Cathedral.

This year the Liturgy was presented by the Catholic Primary Schools of Holy Family & St Michael’s and St Joseph’s, both from Pontefract. They also formed the choirs with the support from the Diocesan Music Department. The schools took as their theme the Catholic Social Teaching principle of Solidarity which they re-phrased as unity and sang and said prayers to reflect on this.

During the presentation of the donations Bishop Marcus received the monies collected by the schools as part of the Good Shepherd Appeal which is held during lent each year. The children have the opportunity to talk to the Bishop excitedly and with great enthusiasm about the various ways they have raised their funds and he is always amazed by their ingenuity. This year the most popular fund raisers were food related with bun sales and toast sales and of course the teachers favourite of a sponsored silence. There were a number of new ideas this year including a trail of coins around the playground, penalty shoot outs, pump painting, back to front day (where children wear their clothes back to front), ambitions day (the children come dressed to school as what they would like to be when they grow up) and a virtual pilgrimage to Walsingham. As part of their Golden Jubilee St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, Bradford, dressed up as famous people or in different fashions through the decades. The Bishop’s favourite idea this year was a Mothers day raffle which he thought was a lovely idea, while Carol’s was the “Welly Walk” undertaken by the early year’s children.

Everyone did fantastically well raising £45,500. This money is invaluable to Catholic Care and enables the charity to help many people in real need living in the community.

The singing throughout was beautiful and the celebration ended with a rousing version of “Christ be our light”