More than 2,300 Year 6 pupils from 46 Church of England primary schools from across our diocese gathered together last week at Leavers’ Services to mark their achievements and to celebrate their transition to secondary school.
The services, which were spread over four days and based at the ‘Canvas Cathedral’, were split into two sections.
The first was structured around practical activities that gave the children opportunities to reflect on their time at primary school – making flags celebrating ‘wow’ moments, drawing prayer hands, crafting ‘thank you’ people from pipe cleaners, and laying ‘sorry stones’ on a wooden cross.
The formal service that followed gave pupils time for sung worship, as well as prayers and reflections that had been written by the attending schools.
Diocesan director of education, Canon Derek Holbird, spoke about the exciting transition to secondary education the new opportunities it brings, while the Dean of Guildford, the Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams, and Bishop Andrew presented candles to each school group. These were lit to represent the light of Christ, and were taken back to the schools, to be passed to the next Year 6 cohort.
One parent of a pupil at Leatherhead Trinity School commented on the positive response her child had to the event:
“I wanted to let you know how much my daughter enjoyed her Leavers’ Service today. She said how lovely the Canvas Cathedral was and she clearly felt that it had been a really special occasion.
“We go to church every Sunday, but she was more engaged today than she has been for some time. I can tell that she was able to do some deep thinking.”