The girl was only little, but her voice rang out loud and clear in the packed congregation at St Wilfrid’s Church in Ripon as she answered Canon Ian Smith’s question about who we were waiting for on this first day of the Novena, with a confident ‘THE HOLY SPIRIT!’
Head Teacher Jill Allen and members of her staff at St Wilfrid’s Primary School brought the whole school to church, doubling the size of an already sizeable congregation gathered at morning Mass for Ascension Day and providing a very diligent young man as Altar Server.
As well as clearly being well-catechised, the children’s behaviour was exemplary! Their singing before lining up reverently to receive Communion or a Blessing testament to the tuition they are receiving from new Choral Director and Accompanist Will Bruce and Anthony Gray. Will and Anthony have been employed by Diocese of Leeds Music thanks to generous grant funding received from the Hamish Ogston Foundation to expand our own Schools Singing Programme (SSP), as well as for all other UK Catholic dioceses to start their own programmes of evangelisation through music education. St Wilfrid’s has recently joined the Diocesan SSP and now has a thirty-strong children’s choir, which will enable the school to sing at Mass more regularly.
God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast!