What a brilliant day we had on Thursday 8 June, when primary schools from Archdiocese of Southwark gathered at Aylesford Priory, for their annual One Body in Christ liturgy. Missio’s children’s branch, Mission Together, organised One Body in Christ with the Education Commission for the Archdiocese of Southwark.

This annual event is an opportunity for children and young people across the Archdiocese to celebrate their place as members of their diocesan family – and as cherished members of God’s global family.

A wonderful testament of faith

Presided over by Carmelite Friars, Fr Francis Kemsley and Fr Ged Walsh, One Body in Christ focused on the Feeding of the Five Thousand as relayed in John’s Gospel. Pupils from St James the Great, Peckham performed a brilliant contemporary dramatization of this Gospel. They stood with such confidence before an audience of hundreds!

Offering what we have

In his homily, Fr Ged helped the congregation to reflect on the actions of the young boy in the Gospel who offered the little he had to make a difference and the great good Jesus was able to do with this seemingly small but important offering. Afterwards, pupils from each school offered their own small acts of kindness, which they had written as prayer pledges prior to the event. Members of St Philomena’s High School Gospel Choir provided musical accompaniment to this moving procession of prayer pledges.

Singing out with joy

To conclude this wonderful liturgical prayer, St Philomena’s Choir lifted our spirits higher with a joyful rendition of Gospel songs, under the leadership of their brilliant choir master Natalie  Christian-John. A small number of pupils from each school were asked to join the choir on the sanctuary to sing and dance in praise. The sun shone brightly and the Priory filled with light and love.

A huge thank you to all schools who attended One Body in Christ, and especially those schools who contributed through the reading of scripture and prayers for the continents. Thank you also to St Elphege’s Primary, Wallington, who presented Mission Together with a generous donation at the end of our celebration. Their donation will support Missio’s essential children’s projects in places of poverty and turmoil worldwide.

All together now!

Take a look at these inspiring pupils and their wonderful singing. What a brilliant day! Huge thanks to the Education Commission for the Archdiocese of Southwark, Natalie Christian-John and the choir from St Philomena’s, and all the children, staff and volunteers from across the Archdiocese.

Children in England and Wales are helping children around the world to know they are loved – by God and by us – through practical help and prayer. In fact, in 2022, our schools and Mission Together supporters raised a whopping £223,33o for our children’s projects around the world! Thank you so much – you’re amazing!

Mission Together also supports children here at home, with our free liturgical and prayer resources for schools and individuals.