What a fantastic day we had last week as over 900 pupils from schools across the Archdiocese of Southwark made their way to Aylesford Priory for our ‘One Mind, One Heart’ event.

The Priory, a site of prayer and pilgrimage for almost 800 years, was the beautiful setting for this special prayer service, coordinated by Southwark Education Commission and Missio’s children’s branch – Mission Together.

The event encouraged pupils to celebrate their place within God’s global Church family, and to pray for their brothers and sisters close to home and far away. Through drama, prayer and song, children were invited to reflect upon Jesus’ instruction to:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and to love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matt 22:37)

Sharing talents

A brave pupil from St Joseph’s Federation, Upper Norwood was the first to step onto the sanctuary and read, word perfect, from St Paul’s Letter to Philippians. Pupils from St Benedict’s Primary, Chatham then provided a thought-provoking Gospel drama, which helped children to recognise the importance of questioning negative assumptions and of working together to build God’s kingdom. Later, pupils from Good Shepherd, Lewisham led our prayers for children around the world.

Music was provided by St Thomas the Apostle Gospel Choir who inspired hearts and minds with their beautiful harmonies, including our One Mind, One Heart hymn, written specially for Mission Together. With direction from the talented Natalie Christian-John, an acclaimed singer and choir director, the students moved us all.

Sharing faith and love

Bishop Paul Hendricks presided alongside Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of Aylesford. Both shared reflections on the significance of gathering in prayer and sharing Christ’s love through word and action as one. Bishop Paul reflected:

‘It’s better when we pray together for our brothers and sisters around the world with one mind and heart.’

The Bishop accepted prayers written and offered by pupils from each of the attending schools. These prayers were placed on the altar in Aylesford’s Main Shrine.

Following the prayer service, schools picnicked in the grounds. Many also took part in the Aylesford Mission Quest, a fun scavenger hunt that helps pupils explore and learn more about the Priory.

A huge thank you!

We’re grateful to all the schools who attended One Mind, One Heart; to Southwark Education Commission for helping to plan the event;  to Bishop Hendricks, and especially to Fr Francis and his brother Carmelites who hosted the celebration. Thank you all for such an inspiring and uplifting day.

Join us

June is a special month for Mission Together as we come together with one mind and one heart to celebrate the Day of Many Colours. This special day is celebrated by children around the world, and explores what it means to be part of God’s global family. If you and your school would like to hold a Day of Many Colours, click here to find out more and get hold of our fantastic FREE resources>>

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