Bishop Ralph visits St Mary Primary School sI felt very comfortable        It was a very important day for all of us        It was awesome, epic!        He seemed more fun than I had expected        I was overjoyed        He is very handsome        We were very fortunate that he visited us        It was fantastic, amazing, really special        I have never seen a bishop before        It was very exciting        Once in a lifetime!        It was special to have someone who is so important in our religious faith        He was interesting to talk to        He blessed us and he blessed our Sacred Space        He is really nice        It was a privilege to be with him        He was really kind and answered all our questions        I was nervous at first        I like our 150 badge.  The bishop had one on too        He said he didn’t want to be a bishop, but he did want to be a priest        I was kinda nervous       I have the same name as Bishop Ralph       I felt calm when he visited us        A very special experience

Recently, Bishop Ralph made a visit to both St Mary’s Primary and St Mary’s High School in Chesterfield.

This year marks 150 years since the establishment of a Catholic school in Chesterfield and this was the first of several celebrations which will be happening during the year.

On arrival at the Primary School the Bishop was met by a group of children from the Chaplaincy team (pictured above) and after blessing the ‘Sacred Space’ was escorted for coffee and cakes in the staff room, where he was introduced to members of both the pupil and adult Chaplaincy team, staff and Governors, along with representatives from St Joseph’s Little Scholars Nursery.

The Bishop was taken on a tour of the school, managing to visit each of the 14 classrooms to talk to the children.  Before leaving for St Mary’s High School he was presented with a booklet of prayers prepared by each class, a crocheted button and a special surprise gift.

The captions around the photograph above capture the thoughts of the Primary School pupils following Bishop Ralph’s visit.

Bishop Ralph left St Mary’s Primary School to go on to St Mary’s Secondary School.  Two of the High School pupils report on his visit to their school.

On 13 January, Bishop Ralph, the Bishop of our Diocese, Hallam, came to visit our school.  Bishop Ralph had lunch with various representatives from the different Year Groups and we talked about what he does in the Diocese.  Bishop Ralph met some of the staff in the staff room and then the RE Department in their office.  He then came to the chapel (pictured above) where members of Year 7 and Year 8 Chaplaincy teams were gathered.  Also here were 2 members of the 6th Form Chaplaincy team, Liam who volunteers on a Tuesday and Andrew, our Chaplaincy Assistant.

We asked some questions.  One was whether he liked our school and he said he did.  He thought it was very friendly.

Someone else asked him about what he does and he told us that he oversees all that goes on in the Diocese.  In school, the teachers teach in his name.  Mr McClafferty, our headteacher, said the Bishop was his boss.  He also told us what his interests were and how he came to be Bishop.

Bishop Ralph asked us what we did and we told him that we do things such as fund raising, wrapping Christmas presents for children who would not have very much, helping Sr Susan with Masses and readings.

Bishop Ralph visits St Mary High School s

We gave the Bishop a prayer card to remind him of us and we put his name on our “prayer net” in the chapel.  We hope that he will come again soon.

Roisin and Zoe (Year 8)