Photo: Keith Blundy

Services mark big change for Year 6 students

Over 2,000 young people from North East Church of England schools, and a small number of Catholic and local authority schools, have been marking their leaving school with six special services held over three days at Durham Cathedral last week.

The students are year 6 students going onto secondary school and the services help prepare them for the next stage in their lives.

The services were organised by the Joint boards of education for Durham and Newcastle Dioceses. Each service over the three days was lead by senior clergy from the Diocese including the Bishops of Durham & Jarrow, and two Canons of the Cathedral.

The Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd Paul Butler, who is the Church of England‘s Children’s Advocate said: "Moving from primary to secondary school is one of the biggest changes in life that children make. Marking the end of one thing and preparing for the next is vitally important. It will live long in their memories. Churches needed to regard work in schools as just as important as work done with adults."

Colleen Miller, co-ordinator of the six services, up from five last year, said: “It is a chance for the children to give thanks and be blessed with all members of all the other church schools in the diocese.”

Support came from the choir from Whickham Parochial Church of England School. Pete Armstrong, headteacher, said: “It has been a real honour to be involved. It’s been a privilege and the children have had a brilliant time.”

Choir member Darcy Barratt said: ”It is a very special thing to do and I feel honoured and excited to be at an event with the Bishop of Durham.”

The Right Revd Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow lead two of the services, also presented certificates to Jack Evans, Matthew Heslop and Neave Liddle from St Stephens school in Willington, who provided technical support, including filming for all six services.

Bishop Mark said: “This has been a marvellous celebration, a great opportunity to look back on their school career to date and look forward to new school and new possibilities in the coming years.”

The other services were lead by The Revd Canon Sheila Bamber - the Canon Provost of Sunderland Minster, and The Revd Canon Bob Hopper vicar of All Saints Lobley Hill and St Cuthberts, Marley Hill in Gateshead.

A similar service will occur in St Nicholas Cathedral Church in Newcastle on Wednesday 18th June, featuring more than 600 young people lead by the The Very Revd Chris Dalliston Dean of Newcastle.

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