Staff and pupils gathered in the school’s chapel to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes to the school and to take part in the blessing of the statue before it is placed in the new school garden.
“We wanted to create a quiet yet distinctive place where members of the school community could go to pray and reflect. To mark this spot we choose a beautiful statue of Our Lady,” explained Mrs Cathie Halbert, who is leading the project. “The grottto is being enjoyed and appreciated by children, staff, parents and parishioners and is a beautiful addition to our school grounds. The statue will be the focal point.”
Mrs Lisa Baillie, Assistant Headteacher, said: “An important part of our Catholic faith is the recognition of the role of Our Lady, the mother of our saviour Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Lourdes is a popular devotion for many parishes and schools, and at Saint Paul's we wanted to bring a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and build our own grotto based on the actual grotto of Lourdes near the Pyrenees in France.”
“We have many representations and symbols of our Catholic faith inside the school building so it is nice to continue this with our grotto outside,”explained Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We also look forward especially to the month of May, the month of our Lady, when we will be having special outdoor prayer services for pupils.”