Progression at St Augustine’s Priory marks the departure of our summer 2020 Upper VI leavers and their progression to university and life beyond school. It takes the form of a formal dinner and is a wonderful occasion. This year, of necessity, we were unable to hold a formal meal and so took everything outside. The St Augustine’s Priory ‘Gustonbury’ festival took place on Friday 4th September in the Prep Meadow where decorations adorned the scene, there was a bouncy castle and a bouncy slide and we all enjoyed a delicious buffet meal.
Gustonbury began with the Upper VI Leavers’ Mass celebrated by Fr David Reilly. We usually hold our Upper VI Leavers’ Mass in the Summer Term where their families join with the leaving Upper VI to celebrate their time at St Augustine’s Priory. This year, of necessity, we were unable to do so and therefore families joined their daughters for the Mass in the Prep Meadow.
The reading, taken from the second letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians was especially pertinent this year:
‘But we feel we must be continually thanking God for you, brothers and sisters whom the Lord loves, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved by the sanctifying Spirit and by faith in the truth. Through the Good News that he brought he called you to do this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers and sisters, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.
Finally, pray that the Lord’s message may spread quickly and be received with honour as it was among you… But the Lord is faithful and he will give you strength and guard you from evil, and we have every confidence that you are doing and will go on doing all that we tell you.
May the Lord turn your hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way. The Lord be with you all.’
Following Mass, the parents departed and an evening of open air celebration commenced.
As the daylight ebbed away the lanterns adorning the tables came into their own and the lights decorating trees made it a sight reminiscent of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen – magical!
The Upper VI yearbooks, which had been brilliantly put together by Mari Phillips, were distributed and speeches were made by Headteacher Mrs Raffray, outgoing Head Girl Aoife Pedreschi and incoming Head Girl Ljilja Vincic. Aoife spoke warmly of her and her year’s time at St Augustine’s Priory and Ljilja was full of praise for the leaving Upper VI, paying tribute to their welcome, friendship and support to her and her classmates in their first year of Priory 6, Lower VI.
After the speeches we all joined in a socially distanced conga of ‘You shall go out with joy’ – a fitting climax to ‘Gustonbury’.
It was a delight to see these young women join together for Progression on an evening to remember. This was a Progression unlike any other and we wish our Upper VI Summer 2020 leavers every success as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
As the Psalm read at Mass pointed out:
‘The Lord is my light and my shield
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
against whom shall I be afraid?
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart,
Hope in the Lord.’Categories: Faith Life Priory Post Senior Sixth Form Whole School