What a privilege it was to watch the pupils performing in the Autumn Concert last week! It was a truly diverse and varied concert, as Mr. Spencer pointed out during the evening, with performances that ranged from musical theatre to George Ezra, from orchestral pieces to solo vocalists and from Queen to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’! Special congratulations to our soloists across the year groups, and especially to Paul and Lizzie who, despite only starting in the school in September, braved instrumental solos on the cello and violin respectively! We were incredibly impressed by your talent and skill!
If you are reading this as a pupil interested in the possibility of instrumental tuition, or as a parent or carer keen to encourage your child in this area, it is never too late! Just speak with Mr. Spencer or Mr. Eynon-Davies who will be able to advise on accessing the wonderful Music Service with whom we are very proud to work.
This is, in fact, a great time for new beginnings as I would like to wish all readers of this post a very happy new year! As many of you will be aware, the Church celebrates the end of its liturgical year on the Feast of Christ the King, which this year fell on 25th November.
We have, therefore, now entered the season of Advent, a period of preparation before Christmas where we focus on spiritual growth and reflection. The word Advent, taken from the Latin advenio, “to come towards,” refers to the coming of Christ: His birth at Christmas, Him entering our lives through grace and Holy Communion, and to when He is here at the end of time. Throughout Advent, then, often thought of as a “little Lent”, we focus on additional good works and reflections. The sheer volume of charity work undertaken by all pupils and led by our committed Charity Ambassadors and team is exceptional – well done to all for the innovative ideas to ensure that we support, amongst others, Operation Christmas Child, the local food banks, HCPT and other pilgrimages, the Lasallians and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Our Advent wreath will see a new candle lit each week as we move towards Christmas and we are looking forward to adding the Examen to our Advent preparations, spending the last part of each Friday afternoon in prayerful reflection. This guided from of prayer and meditation encourages us to:
- Become aware of God’s presence.
- Review the day with gratitude.
- Pay attention to our emotions.
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
- Look toward tomorrow.
These enriching and valuable focus areas will certainly ensure that we are better prepared to celebrate joyfully when Christmas arrives and many of our pupils may choose to make the Examen a more regular part of their own lives.
We look forward to welcoming you to our Christmas Fayre on 11th December at 4pm, an opportunity to purchase Christmas crafts and gifts and at the same time support a range of charities including your local parishes. We have two Carol Services this year, in Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mumbles, on Wednesday 12th December at 6pm, and our annual Cathedral Carol Service at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Monday 17th December at 7pm. All are most warmly welcomed to these events! In addition, there is an Advent Mass for senior parishioners on Tuesday 18th December, followed by a Christmas lunch served by the pupils and a programme of music. Please join us for these special occasions, as families of current, former or prospective pupils, or simply as friends of the Bishop Vaughan community.
With our good wishes for a blessed and peaceful Advent season.