Lighting the way – school leavers share hopes and fears

Candles of all shapes and sizes made by church schools are now decorating cathedrals and churches across the diocese following school leavers’ services in each of the five Episcopal Areas.

The candles in all shapes and sizes were created by pupils at the diocese’s 242 church schools who have been taking part in the services to celebrate leaving primary school and moving to new secondary schools this summer.

The  services have been taking place in each Episcopal Area – at Leeds and Halifax Minster and the three cathedrals with the final service this week (Thursday 12 July) at Wakefield Cathedral.

This year’s theme is ‘Yesterday, Today, and Forever’ and schools were invited to create candles to display at the service. The result, says Diocesan School’s Advisor, Fiona Beevers, were “imaginative, creative, thoughtful as well as joyful and all wonderful.”

“Each class was asked to make or decorate a candle to bring to the service as an offering” explained Fiona. “It could be a large wax candle decorated or a 3D model of a candle. There was no stipulation on the size of the candle other than the practicalities of transporting it to the service, but it was made jointly as a class or group activity.”  The candles will remain on display in the three cathedrals, Halifax Minster and Church House York Place during the school summer holidays.

Other common elements of the five leavers’ services included dramatized readings a variety of hymns and songs and prayers for the children who will be making the transition from primary to secondary schools in September.

 “It’s an opportunity for children to celebrate all that they have learned and been part of in primary school”, said Fiona.

”It’s an acknowledgement that they are not on their own and that there are lots of other Year 6s who are also making moving on with them. We see it as a celebration, a reminder that God goes with them and that they are remembered and prayed for.”

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