Rite of Welcome 2019

On Friday the whole school came together in the Chapel for the annual Rite of Welcome, a longstanding traditional ceremony which welcomes new pupils and staff into the St Mary’s community. The Rite of Welcome was introduced by Sister Anna Hawke CJ in 1986 and is unique to St Mary’s.

Each new pupil and member of staff is officially welcomed into the school and handed a rose and a school prayer book. The rose symbolises hope for the wellbeing of each individual and the book symbolises prayer, the foundation of school life. The walls of the chapel were adorned with colourful drawings of the names of the new pupils and staff, designed by each individual’s guardian angel.

Newcomers shared their thoughts with the congregation on arriving at St Mary’s. Comments included, “I can 100% rely on my friends here at St Mary,” and “It is a very special school and I have been made to feel so welcome.”  Adam Hartley, RE teacher, added, “St Mary’s has exceeded all my expectations.”

The choir led the school in singing their hearts out to Ave Maria Gratia Plena and Sing Hosanna. It was a ceremony that beautifully sums up St Mary’s, its values and the culture of the school and forms a lasting memory in the lives of the whole school community.

St Mary's Shaftesbury-Rite of Welcome 2019 8

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