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Schools answer the Bishop's Lent Call
Nineteen Church of England schools from all parts of the Diocese came to the Cathedral on 29 April to bring Bishop Tom their offerings in response to his Lent Call 1999.
There was a huge turn out, spilling into the aisles and chancel. A large recorder group from St John the Divine Primary School, Kennington played skillfully before and after the service, and Bishop John Robinson Primary School, Thamesmead came to the chancel step in strength to sing a musical item.
St Jude's Primary, Southwark gave a dance/drama presentation (photo above), and St Dunstan's Primary, Cheam gave a dramatised reading of the story of the widow's mite. The songs and drama helped to express the themes of Lent Call - helping those in need at home and overseas, trusting in God for our own help. Bishop Tom thanked the schools for their offerings, and specially mentioned those who performed songs, mime and dance.
"I like to think that Will Shakespeare used to come and worship here in this Cathedral, and sometimes find a place for peace and quiet to help him write his plays," said the Bishop.
Footnote: Over the years the Lent Call has grown in such a way that it has been thought necessary to register it with the Charity Commissioners. This allows us to benefit from tax efficient means of giving to charity. The registration process is now complete and the fund that is formed through the Lent Call is now to be known officially as 'Bishop of Southwark's Lent Fund'. The charity number is 1075122. The initiative first begun by Bishop Mervyn Stockwood will continue to be known as 'The Bishop's Lent Call'.
Special day for Boucher's School
Bishop Tom officiated at a service of Baptism and admission to Holy Communion for year 5 and year 6 children at Boutcher CofE School, Bermondsey on 6 May.
Those baptised and receiving their first communion were Ben Shelbourne, Jade Bird, Nicola Ellis, Anna Afolayan, Aaron Brittan, Zoe Smith, Jodic Brindle, Oliver Hams, Lucy Reynolds, Chloe McGarvey, Philip Dodoo, Danny Firkins, Jay Howard, Laurau Looms and Asher Baker.
The children were excited and a little nervous. Lucy Reynolds said that she wanted to be admitted to Holy Communion because she wanted to be closer to God. Alison Baker thought that making a commitment to God was a big step to take.
There was wonderful singing by the rest of the children in KS2. Year 5 presented a play based on Jesus's appearance on the Emmaus road. The service ended with the school's favourite hymn 'God's Spirit'.