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Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James handing the prayer to St William's Primary School captains left to right Shathuya Krishnagopal, Oliver Warnes, Danny Loftus and Emily Crook. Photo: Steve Adams
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A special prayer was written for the official opening of a Thorpe St Andrew school 60 years ago, and now the Bishop of Norwich has repeated the tradition by creating a prayer to mark the diamond jubilee year of St William’s Primary.
The prayer for St William’s Primary School written by the Rt Rev Graham James, Lord Bishop of Norwich for the diamond jubilee of the school:
God of truth and love,
We pray that you will bless our school
Where we come to learn about your world.
Give us faith when things are difficult,
Hope when we need encouragement
And joy when we do well.
The prayer - prepared by the Rt Rev Percy Herbert Lord Bishop of Norwich – was used in the dedication of the school:
We commend to thee
O God of wisdom and of love,
This school and all who come within it,
Beseeching Thee to bless it for their welfare
In body, mind and soul.
May Thine abiding Spirit hallow every activity,
So that those who teach and those who learn
May know Thee to be the Way,
The Truth, and the Life,
And give themselves to Thy service,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Rt Rev Graham James spent yesterday morning at the school in William’s Loke, where he shared the new prayer about faith, hope and joy in a special assembly, and he also spoke to the pupils about what the passing of 60 years means.
“Sixty years is a very long time. It is just long enough for it to be in my lifetime because I am 61.
“I know, very old indeed, but even bishops were children once; it is an astonishing fact,” he told the children.
He also spoke of how technology has progressed over the decades with the introduction of the iPhone and credit cards, and the change from shillings to the modern day pounds and pence.
But he told the children that human beings as a whole do not change very much, likening them to Liquorice Allsorts that he said had largely stayed the same since being invented in 1899, and that, like in a packet of the mixed sweets, he said there were also lots of different types of people.
“What the school and the church is about is that we are all different sorts of people but we make up one community,” he said, before he shared his newly created prayer with the school and presented a framed copy to a group of pupils.
After the assembly, Bishop Graham, who also took a tour of the school and answered questions from year six pupils, said he was impressed by the excitement and enthusiasm of the children.
He said: “It is lovely to come into a school where you pick up the atmosphere straight away of children longing to learn and glad to be at school, and you really get a sense of that here. It was a very good idea of the school to ask for a prayer for their 60th anniversary and I was very glad to do that.
“I looked at the prayer written 60 years ago which is in much more formal language.
“What I wanted to do was something that was easily accessible and that could be learnt by the children, and that spoke about the God who loves them and the need for faith, hope and joy.
“I tried to express the need for faith when things are difficult, hope when they need encouragement, and joy when they do well.”
Marion Dawe, headteacher of the 422-pupil school, said: “The school has been here for 60 years and it is special that we are celebrating our anniversary in the same year as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“We felt it was important to celebrate, and for the children to have an understanding on the endurance of an institution that perhaps some of their grandparents came to and maybe their own grandchildren in the future will come to.
“That was the link with the idea of having a new prayer written for the school, and so we asked the Bishop to write a contemporary prayer for us that will be displayed alongside the original prayer.
“We have also made a diamond jubilee quilt, where every child has decorated a hexagon, with events from over the last 60 years.”
She said later in the year the school also planned to plant a tree to mark its anniversary.
• Is your community celebrating a landmark anniversary? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org