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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

St Thomas More pupils’ fundraising makes big splash for water charities

The end of term assembly at St Thomas More RC Primary School, Havant, was an impressive celebration of the children’s successes and achievements.

It started with a meaningful review of the ‘events’ of Holy Week which had been enacted already in school. Among the highlights was a special presentation of a carving of The Last Supper, by former parish priest Fr Tom Grufferty, and the children were quick to identify the image of Judas skulking in the background. The children saw this as his guilt because he was about to betray Jesus.

The children knew, too, that Peter, in turn, would deny knowledge of
Jesus. Asked if they would deny or betray Jesus, the children agreed that it was not nice and that they would not disown him.

The children were encouraged to be brave and not hang about at the back but come to the front and support Jesus by speaking up for him and by attending Mass and loving Jesus.

Their ‘Celebration of Success’ assembly saw pupils rewarded for a range of successes, including 100 per cent attendance at school, excellence in academic achievement, an award for generosity of spirit, raising of social awareness and practical Lenten almsgiving.

Throughout Lent, the school’s RE coordinator, Mr Sendall, orchestrated an incredible series of activities that were run in conjunction with CAFOD’s Make a Splash Lenten appeal. “Water is vital for life and growth. It is such a precious resource often taken for granted other than by those who are without it,” said Mr Sendall. “We considered how images of water formed reflections and the beauty of God’s creation.
“We tried to recreate these effects using many different techniques involving water colours, printing, pointillist and tissue paper collage”.

Events included a local competition, the creation of impressive water features in both parish churches, children saving their pennies throughout Lent and a Water Fun Day activity that occurred after Mass one Sunday.

All the children also participated in a water-themed art exhibition, which was displayed at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Leigh Park.
One pupil, Nia, said: “I really enjoyed the water event at St Michael’s and creating some of the art work. It looks beautiful now that it is up in the church with the light shining through it.” 

Mr Flanagan spoke of his privilege in taking part in the campaign. “It has been a real privilege to work with CAFOD to promote the Make a Splash campaign and to see how staff and children can work with our parishes to make our Lenten journey a meaningful one,” he said.

The fundraising efforts raised a very impressive £285 for CAFOD. During Lent every pound donated to CAFOD was matched by the UK government, doubling the impact of the school’s donation. More money raised by the children was donated to Water Aid.

James, who raised funds throughout Lent, said: “Through supporting CAFOD, it has helped me appreciate what we have and others don’t. It has made me want to work even harder to raise money for these people so that we can become equal, so that they can have clean water just like us.”