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Posted 21/11/2019

Happy November – is it too early to break out the Christmas Jumper?!  This month’s blog is a little (ahem) late – turns out that organising the Service at Ripon Cathedral takes up a LOT of time!

The Service was gorgeous, 700(ish) children in the pews, a choir of 120 making their debut performance, school staff & VIPs – there were a lot of people in the Cathedral!  Which must have made taking part in the Service nerve-wracking for the children who read, sang, carried Standards and laid wreaths but I wouldn’t have known it, they were all wonderful.  Daniel, Bradley and Ava read the Bible passage beautifully and clearly, the prayers written and read by Scarlet, Kenzie, Erin and Teddy were so thoughtful.  Dylan and Deborah handled the very heavy Standards with care and respect and Cara & Isadora did a good job of standing still at the Altar during the two minutes silence which we forgot to warn them about!  The new Northern MKC Heroes Choir sang so beautifully they brought a tear to my eye.  As I greeted them on their way into the Cathedral each one of them told me how nervous they were about the performance and how worried they were they would forget the words, or the tune, or just not be able to sing!  They were wonderful and we’re excited to see them develop.

The artwork this year was completely gorgeous – thank you so much to everyone who contributed.  We had over 1,000 bootprints to display (no prizes for guessing that Jess & I spent half term cutting them out!) and the decorated boots were wonderful!  When I received the boxes of boots from Capt. Col Taylor I couldn’t imagine how we were going to make a D-Day commemorative display from them.  I shouldn’t have worried!  The decorated boots we received were amazing – I have even been asked if we would consider auctioning them to raise money for the RBL!  If you were unable to see the boots while they were on display there are lots of photos in the gallery for you to look at!

As most of you know, this was the first year that Jess and I have organised the Service at Ripon Cathedral – as I kept telling anyone who would listen; I normally just make the tea!  It was a steep learning curve, we think it went well but we will learn from the experience – starting with the hymns!  Perhaps next year you would like to be involved in choosing them?  We could have The Hymn Factor…

The Festival of Friends project is up and running, we have had a productive meeting with the three Area Service Pupil Coordinators: Angela Campbell from Le Cateau Primary School, Michelle Lister from Linton-on-Ouse Primary School  & Charlotte Umpleby from Newpark Primary Academy, and the Catterick Area have had a very successful and inspiring first Armed Forces Champion meeting.  It will be interesting to see how the school projects develop in the coming months.

Annabel has asked that we let you know there will be another SENDIASS Training and Information Event at Le Cateau Primary School at 09:30 on Tuesday 3rd December. Further information is available through Annabel.

This month I received a link to the website and it is my new favourite thing!  The website is aimed at helping those who are supporting children who have suffered developmental trauma, there are sections for home, school and social workers.  The ‘What Survival Looks Like’ slideshows could easily describe how anxious children feel and how we can support them.  There are two slideshows, one for primary schools: and one for secondary schools: , they are really well written and really interesting!

Hope you enjoy what’s left of November!


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