On Monday, 26 June an intrepid group of adults from across the Diocese completed a ten-mile sponsored walking pilgrimage in aid of Mary’s Meals, a charity whose aim it is to feed children in the world’s poorest communities. Setting off from breath-taking Curbar Edge in the morning sunshine, the pilgrims followed a scenic route through the beautiful Peak District, merging with fellow pilgrims at Longshaw for the challenging descent through boulder-strewn Padley Gorge to the ancient Padley Chapel. Mass was celebrated in the chapel grounds by Fr Lee Marshall from The Annunciation and Holy Family Parish in Chesterfield. Fr Lee, who also completed all ten miles of the pilgrimage wearing one of the Mary’s Meals T-shirts, said, “This was a blessed day and a wonderful opportunity to raise vital funds for Mary’s Meals.” After a picnic lunch in the sunshine, the pilgrims put best foot forward and successfully completed the return leg of the walk along the picturesque valley to Curbar. A sum of approximately £1,300 was raised in sponsorship for Mary’s Meals. Maria Volpone, who coordinated the walk, said, “I had no idea when I first suggested the sponsored walking pilgrimage that we would raise such an amount. Some of our walkers even overcame health challenges and mobility issues to take part. It was a real family affair for me, as my two sons took time off work to take part in the walk – and Mylo, our dog, joined us too!” Mary’s Meals can make a lasting difference to the lives of children in some of the world’s poorest countries. It costs just £13.90 to feed a child for a whole school year, so even the smallest amounts can have a huge impact. Anyone interested in finding out more about the work of Mary’s Meals, sending a donation, or hosting a fundraising event in their parish can do so by visiting their website http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/.
Archives for September 2017
The headteacher and staff at Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Doncaster are delighted to have been selected for top roles in supporting schools in challenging circumstances and helping support teachers and leaders in driving forward standards. Mrs Bernadette Nesbit was successful in her application and assessment to be awarded National Leader of Education and Holy Family, Stainforth as a National Support School. Despite the school being in a significantly deprived area itself, Mrs Nesbit has also taken on the role as Exective Headteacher at St Francis Xavier, Balby, Doncaster which again is an area of high deprivation and poses challenging circumstances. Bernadette Nesbit is one of more than seventy-five headteachers to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education in the latest recruitment round, and one of only a few in the Diocese of Hallam. National Leaders of Education, along with staff in their school – appointed as national support schools – use their knowledge and experience to provide additional leadership capability in other schools in need of support. Mrs Nesbit said, “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of staff and the whole school community in supporting schools and the drive to raise standards for children everywhere. Despite the difficulties we face in recruitment and the area we serve, we settle for nothing less than the best for our children across both schools.” Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said, “I’d like to congratulate Mrs Nesbit at Holy Family Catholic Primary on being appointed as a National Leader of Education and national support school. They should be very proud of this achievement. “National leaders of education are at the heart of school improvement. They’re supporting other schools and developing the next generation of leaders. At the National College for Teaching and Leadership we want to do all we can to support their work.”
The Year 6 leavers at St Marie’s School, Sheffield have made their own Oscar Romero cross which was completed and displayed during the school’s Arts Week in July. It was designed in the style and colours of the internationally recognised Salvadorian artist, Fernando Llort, who designed the large Romero Cross that is in Southwark Cathedral, London. The class took inspiration from the different aspects that they felt made up St Marie’s School such as Jesus, football, Sports Day, CAFOD, Padley Pilgrimage, house groups and beads for behaviour. The children worked in small groups and painted these images onto different parts of the cross.
St Marie’s Catholic Primary School, on Fulwood Road, has unveiled a new prayer garden to provide pupils with a quiet space to foster learning and reflection. The garden was built following contributions from the Sheffield Town Trust and the school and parish communities. The stone Easter cross at the centre of the garden, which was chosen by pupils, was designed and made by local sculptor Richard Watts and includes the school motto. Richard has had a connection with St Marie’s for the past 19 years with all five of his children attending the school. St Marie’s headteacher, John Fernandes, said, “The spiritual garden is intended to be an active space, providing pupils with opportunities for learning, for being creative and being engaged in growing and developing their own space. “These learning opportunities, paired with the thoughtful and reflective aspects of the prayer garden, will ensure that it will become a much cherished part of the school for many years to come. We are grateful to all.” Mr Watts said, “The design the children chose – from three possible options – was for a cross carved as the ‘Tree of Life’, a symbol of Our Lord’s resurrection and triumph over sin and death. “The cross is carved with apple leaves and blossom with a Shakespearean quotation from the Tempest around the base – ‘Merrily, merrily shall I live now under the blossom which hangs on the bough’ which also marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death last year.” The prayer garden was officially opened in a service at the school by the Bishop Ralph Heskett and Cathedral Dean, Fr Christopher Posluszny.
For most Sheffield teachers, the summer holidays are a time to relax ahead of the new term in September. Try telling that to Mark Conway. The selfless St Wilfrid’s Primary School: a Catholic Voluntary Academy teacher has just completed a gruelling charity bike ride to London which totalled around 200 miles. Mark completed the challenge in just two days and cycled over 110 miles to Wellingborough on Saturday, 29 July before completing his journey the following day. Mark, who is Head of RE at St Wilfrid’s, raised over £1,000 for aid agency CAFOD and finished his journey at their head offices in Westminster. CAFOD works in over forty countries, helping people to tackle poverty and injustice wherever the need is greatest. Mark said, “CAFOD does a lot of good work and I wanted to raise some money in an exciting way. “I stayed away from the M1 and got lost around Milton Keynes which added about 10 miles to my journey. This made the second day a bit of a killer and I was dreading it a bit, cycling around London can be quite hairy! “It was great to have so many people cheering me on, including kids from my class and other members of staff at St Wilfrid’s. I also got to meet a lot of people on the way who were very supportive. I won’t be doing it again but I will definitely think of something else to do next year!” Mark initially hoped to raise £200 but has gone well beyond his target, with donations reaching £1,145. CAFOD’s representative in Hallam, Jeremy Cain, said, “Thank you to Mark for taking on this remarkable challenge – we are very grateful for the time and effort he gave up. “It sounds like a gruelling journey and it is testament to Mark that he was able to battle through. He quite literally went the extra mile for CAFOD and we are all very proud of his efforts.” To donate, visit Mark’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Conway7. For more information about CAFOD’s work, visit http://www.cafod.org.uk/.
Paul and Margaret Helliwell recently hosted a Sunday celebration to mark Paul’s term as President of Sheffield Hallamshire 218 Catenian Circle. After attending Mass at St Marie’s Cathedral, and joining parishioners for tea and coffee, the celebration moved to Sheffield Manor Lodge, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for fourteen years in the 16th century. For many of those circle members, relatives and friends it was their first visit, even though they had lived locally for many years.
Hilary Myers, a member of St Vincent’s Foundation, Sheffield and a past Union of Catholic Mothers President, relates her experience of Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group’s fundraising event. On Saturday, 17 June the Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group and their guides faced a tough challenge in completing a 17 mile walk over Sheffield’s hilly terrain, well over the distance of seven miles which they normally walk four times a month. My thoughts when I took on the challenge and asked my friends and parishioners to support me as a visually impaired walker was, I don’t mind how long it takes me but I hope the weather is kind and not too hot. We set off from Endcliffe Park at 9am on a warm sunny morning, soon to become a very hot and sticky day. The nice thing about Sheffield is that there are plenty of parks and woods along the route which gave us some much appreciated shade from the hot sun. Everyone on the walk, about twenty of us, was in good spirits. Being blind or visually impaired does not stop you from walking; you just need the arm of a trained guide and we have some wonderful volunteer guides always willing to walk with us. We change guides usually every few miles to give them a break from ‘guiding’, so there’s always a different person to talk to. The route started at Hunters Bar, up the Porter Valley to Ringinglow, down the Limb Valley into Ecclesall Woods and across Abbeydale Road at Dore and Totley Station; then on to Ladies Spring Wood and to Beauchief Abbey in time for a packed lunch. Nicely refreshed, we continued through Chancet Wood to Graves Park and the Gleadless Valley; then onward through Meersbrook Park, across London Road, up the last hill to Brincliffe Edge and Chelsea Park to reach the finish at Hunters Bar at 6pm, where there was lots of chatting, laughing and good camaraderie. We were all in very high spirits and so delighted with each other that we had all finished the challenge. A day well spent! Over £3,000 were raised in support of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and the Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group. What an achievement! Hilary Myers, Social Secretary Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group
A Sheffield school welcomed a Commonwealth boxing champion and his trainer as special guests at its annual sports award evening. Middleweight boxer, Sam Sheedy and trainer, Glyn Rhodes MBE joined pupils, parents and staff at the event at Notre Dame High School on Fulwood Road, Sheffield. The sports awards evening has been running for three years and has quickly become established as a highlight in the school calendar. Headteacher, Steve Davies said, “You can see how much it is valued by the children, their parents and the staff by the turnout and the effort everyone goes to in getting dressed up for the occasion. “We were delighted to be joined by Sam and Glyn who spent the whole evening meeting students, presenting awards and answering questions. “Theirs was a very positive message and it was a real inspiration to our students to meet successful sports people from their own city.” Mr Davies, who thanked the PE department and other staff members for their role in supporting students in sport, added, “Sport’s benefits to physical health are obvious and well documented, but we know too what a positive impact involvement with sport can have on our mental health and wellbeing. “Through sport, our students develop confidence, leadership skills and learn how to work as part of a team. They experience success, but just as importantly, they learn how to deal with failure, how to face it with grace and how to learn from it.” The awards recognise students for their commitment, participation and how they act as role models as well as recognition for success in competition. Glyn Rhodes said, “It was a room full of sports people which was fantastic. “Many people are now afraid of failure, but sport demonstrates how you can bounce back and learn from the experience. “You don’t have to be the best, just do your best. That’s what I tell them in the gym.”
Martin Humphreys tells us that 8 July was a red letter day for Sheffield Lay Carmel, as the group started their novena for the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with a Mass celebrated by Fr Shaun Smith, who was assisted by Deacon Chris Ainslie. At the reception that followed Deacon Chris, who is a professed member of Lay Carmel, received the congratulations and warm wishes of his Carmelite confreres. This wonderful occasion was completed by the monthly formal talk, which was given by Fr Grant Naylor, who was accompanied by Rev Tom Crowley, an ordinance at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. Fr Naylor encouraged everyone to ask Our Lady to give us a simple, deep faith and devotion well rooted in our hearts, leading us to discover every day the good news of the Gospel and encouraging us to announce it with courage and authenticity.
This year Austin Corcoran of St Wilfrid’s and Mother of God St Vincent de Paul Conference in Sheffield celebrates 50 years’ membership of the SVP. At a Mass offered for the work of the SVP on 26 June, Mgr William Kilgannon, parish priest, presented Austin with a long-service medal and certificate on behalf of the Conference. Austin’s many roles in the SVP in Hallam Diocese include two terms as Conference Treasurer, five years as President of the Conference and a further five years as President of Hallam Central Council. He has been Chair of the St Vincent’s Charity Shop Committee since 1998. Mgr Kilgannon referred in his remarks to Austin as ‘a man of faith and prayer’ which sustains his work and noted that the SVP was something of a family concern; Austin’s father was a long-time member and several of his children are also involved.