...with pupils from a range of schools in different parts of Britain gathering at St Margaret's Westminster, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Schools Bible Project.
The choirs of Ripley St Thomas CofE Academy, and Our Lady's Convent School, Loughborough, led the singing: we began with a rousing "Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer" and then during the service each choir sang a most beautiful anthem...pupils from various schools did the Scripture readings, and read prayers, as did our Trustee, Baroness Cox. The Dean of Westminster Abbey led the service and preached. There was a beautiful message from Archbishop Vincent Nichols. It was a united Christian celebration, soaked in lovely music and with the young people attentive, reverent, and involved.
In the Schools Bible Project, of which Auntie is Chairman, pupils have to imagine themselves present at an event in the life of Christ - they are given six from which to choose - and then write about it. Every year, we receive hundreds and hundreds of essays from schools across Britain. There are prizes for those who write essays of fine quality. The whole project is, as Dean John Hall noted, very Ignatian. You place yourself in the scene described in the Scriptures, and get right into it. It is an encounter with Christ.
The service ended with a blessing, and "Amazing Grace" and the choir sang Rutter's "The Lord bless you and keep you..." The sound of the young voices filling that great church sent a message of hope...