Father of mankind, Lord of history, bringer of peace,
watch over Europe, the whole of Europe, all of her nations.
Europe to whom you have sent philosophers, legislators, wise people,
forerunners in faith of your Son, who has died and has risen again
Watch over these peoples, evangelised by Peter and Paul,
by the prophets, by the monks, by the saints;
blessed by the work of the humble,
and touched by the voice of the reformers.
Watch over the peoples united by so many ties
but also divided, over time, by hatred and war.
Help us in working for a Europe of the Spirit
founded not only on economic agreements,
but also on human and eternal values.
A Europe capable of ethnic and ecumenical reconciliations,
ready to welcome the stranger, respectful of each person’s dignity.
Grant that we assume our duty with hope
to inspire and promote an understanding among peoples
which ensures in all the continents justice and bread,
freedom and peace for all of your people.
Adapted from a prayer by Card. Carlo Maria Martini
Mr R Cunningham
Congratulations this week go to our pupils in Early Years for celebrating their first Year Group liturgy at St Peter’s. All of the children from Miss Deacon’s Seahorse class and Mrs Conlon’s Starfish class welcomed members of their family in to share in worship on the topic of kindness. The pupils acted out the parable of the Good Samaritan to show how Jesus taught us what true kindness towards others looks like. This was followed by the world premiere of an amazing “Early Years Films Production” of examples of their kindness to others in school, which was projected onto the big screen in the hall. Finally, the pupils showed through pictures and words what they could do to be kind to others in their daily lives. Thanks go to all of the Early Years staff for the hard work that went into preparing the Liturgy, to lay chaplain Miss Keogh from Oaklands for supporting the worship, to Fr Jeremy for visiting the children and offering a blessing, and to all of the family members who were able to join us on a crisp and frosty January morning.
Mr R Cunningham
This week the pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 were lucky enough to have a visit from an inspirational speaker by the name of Chris Lubbe. His life began in the rural surroundings of Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. At high school, he discovered he had a gift for speaking, and led students in protest against the unjust system of ‘apartheid’. This action was to set him on a collision course with the ‘apartheid’ regime, and he has spent the rest of his life involved in the relentless struggle against discrimination.
When the ‘apartheid’ regime ended, Chris found himself by chance being selected as a body guard for Nelson Mandela by the great man himself. In that role, he had the honour of meeting some of the greatest world leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Bill Clinton, Her Majesty the Queen and Pope John Paul II.
His purpose now is to inspire positive change and to help others discover their own purpose in life. He believes that each of us has an in-built ability to make a positive contribution to the world, and works hard to imbue that in every group to which he speaks. He shares his life story and the unique story of South Africa’s transition from ‘apartheid’ to a democracy. It is a story of determination and resilience which is a tribute to the thousands of South Africans who have gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom. The key themes from his message are determination, courage, perseverance, persistence and the power of forgiveness, centring on the power of unconditional love and the true meaning of humanity, known as ‘Ubuntu’ in Zulu.
Mr R Cunningham
The start of the new term heralds the start of new topic learning in each year group at St Peter’s. During the first half of the spring term, Year R children will be getting creepy crawly with mini-beasts, Year 1 children will be researching toys past and present, and Year 2 pupils will be taking ‘one small step’ as they learn about the moon landing of 1969. In Key Stage 2, Year 3 are trekking off to the rain forests for their topic work, Year 4 are ‘island hopping’, and Year 6 are about to embark on adventurous activities with an assault on Mount Everest. Finally, Year 5 are blasting off into space for their topic, which they launched with a trip to the Winchester Science Museum this week. Thanks go to all the Year 5 staff and the parent helpers who made the trip possible in the first week of a new term. Take time over the coming weeks to speak to your children about their topic learning, and visit year group blogs, to get an insight into the broad curriculum on offer here at St Peter’s.
Mr R Cunningham