Diocese of Portsmouth

    Pupils celebrate everyday heroes at cathedral

    29 June 2018

    HUNDREDS of pupils will celebrate everyday heroes by bringing a decorated chair to Portsmouth Cathedral next week (July 4-6).

    Year 6 pupils from Church of England schools across Portsmouth diocese will come to the cathedral for a day of workshops followed by a Leavers’ Service to mark the end of their time in primary school. Pupils from different schools will come on either Wednesday (July 4), Thursday (July 5) or Friday (July 6)

    And each school has been invited to buy a basic chair from a charity shop, and to decorate it as if it were a seat for someone who is a hero in everyday life. Those chairs will be brought to the cathedral and the Leavers’ Services will reflect that fact that we are all heroes in the eyes of God.

    The children’s chairs will be left in the cathedral for two weeks following the third service, to allow visitors to see the pupils’ creativity. The chairs will then be returned to the schools to be used over the next 12 months in lessons and acts of worship when everyday heroes arecelebrated throughout the year.

    Similar services happened at Winchester Cathedral last week (June 20-22). Decorated chairs from160 C of E schools across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight will ultimately be shared between the two cathedrals.

    Jeff Williams, Director of Education for Portsmouth and Winchester dioceses, said: “Last year we asked schools to transform life-size fibreglass sheep in our Ewe Matter project. The feedback from children was good, as they loved decorating them.

    “We thought we’d try something this year that reflected the fact that a hero isn’t just the traditional concept of a caped crusader with superhuman strength. In fact, we are all heroes on God’s eyes, and there are many everyday heroes, such as community volunteers, lunchtime supervisors, and emergency service personnel, whomake daily practical expressions of their faith and commitment to serving the Common Good for the flourishing of all.

    “The children are being invited to decorate the chairs fit for an everyday hero. Chairs were chosen because our two cathedrals are full of lots of very different chairs, each having a particular history and role. We also thought schools could buy them from charity shop, to reflect their Christian ethos.

    “Our Leavers’ Services will involve all the chairs that are lined up at the front. We hope that once the chairs return to the schools, they can be used in worship to celebrate heroes in the schools themselves – for instance, a child or member of the local community who has demonstrated the school’s Christian values.”