Thursday 14th April 2016
Lent Collection feeds thousands with fish
The final newsletter of Lent Term commenced with a message from Mrs Raffray which highlighted the many freedoms we in the UK enjoy and which other people, in other places, are not so fortunate to experience. The backdrop to this reflection was a Monday morning assembly in which the Founder of volunteer-led charity, Calais Kitchens, asked us to contribute to their efforts in bringing relief to refugees around Calais.
The compassion and determination with which our girls responded to this appeal was, as is typical of our student body, praiseworthy. Girls from across the Seniors and Juniors collectively assembled over 1400 tins of fish and displayed them in front of the rose garden, creating a symbolic fish shape: the acrostic ichthys, which has been a symbol of Christianity for almost as long as the Christian faith has existed.
Sixth Form student, Rebecca Shoesmith, who led the collection commented:
“We had to act. No matter how small an individual’s resources, collectively we can make a big difference. I’m delighted that girls have shown such generosity; we’re a small school with huge community spirit.”
The collection was supported by a significant donation by catering firm, Holroyd Howe, which manages the catering operation here at St Augustine’s Priory. This generous contribution allowed us to far exceed our target of 1000 tins and we are very grateful to Mrs Ferneyhough for all her support.
The idea of collecting tinned fish in particular was inspired by the Gospel accounts of Jesus feeding the Five Thousand with loaves and fish. In this, as in any humanitarian activity, it is appropriate that we try to follow in our Lord’s footsteps, particularly during Lent and the Easter season. The girls’ kindness epitomises the school’s community ethos and the effort we make to, in the words of His Holiness Pope Francis, “bring the goodness and tenderness of God” to every man and woman, in this the Year of Mercy.
Mr Aarts from Calais Kitchens extends his thanks to all the students, parents and staff who were able to support the collection which will make a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of people less fortunate than ourselves.