During the last week of term, the Notre Dame community celebrated advent and the nativity with staff and student services.
On Wednesday December 15, our staff and governors attended an uplifting service of readings and carols. Father Michael Hall, who is one of our governors, read the Gospel of Matthew aloud, then asked those in attendance to read it again silently and see if anything stood out to them, saying that this is often a way God speaks to us.
Our staff and student choir was conducted by Lizzie Leather, Choral Director of the Diocese of Leeds, and accompanied on the organ by Thomas Leech, Director of the Diocese’s internationally acclaimed Schools Singing Programme. They sang: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; a traditional Polish Christmas carol; and led those present in a rousing hymn, O Come All Ye Faithful.
In the same week, our students took turns to attend an advent service entitled Jesus, the Saviour of the World. College Principal Justine Barlow began each service by reflecting on the challenges of the past year, and encouraging our students to be hopeful about the future. She reminded them of the words of past student Malvern Magwengere, “The future lies not ahead but within you.”
Upper sixth student Phoebe Yankey sang O Holy Night beautifully, and then a reading of O Simplicitas by Madeleine L’Engle was made. Visiting Fathers Jonathan Hart and Éamon McGeough from the Diocese of Leeds read from the Gospel of John. This was followed by our students processing into the hall dressed as the Holy Family, an angel, the three wise men and shepherds, creating a tableau on the main hall’s stage. Each service ended with a final prayer that echoed our principal’s words; “We are your people, waking in darkness, yet seeking light.”
We wish all our staff, students, governors, and the local community a holy and peace filled Christmas.