Seven National Schools from West Cork gathered in St Fachtna’s Cathedral, Rosscarbery on Tuesday 17th October to celebrate the start of the school year and to give thanks for the harvest. Also present at the service were children from Ross Union of Parishes that attend other schools.
The service opened with a procession of school banners around the cathedral. The Dean of Ross, the Very Rev’d Cliff Jeffers led the service and drew a comparison with harvest from the parable of the ten lepers giving thanks for being healed in the Gospel of St Luke. It also provided an opportunity to wrap bandages around ten volunteer lepers drawn from the schools.
The Gospel was read by pupils from Kilgarriffe NS, Clonakilty, a thanksgiving was led by pupils from Abbeystrewry NS, Skibbereen, and the prayers were read by pupils from The Model School in Dunmanway. The schools had been practising the hymns, including Bless the lord, O my soul and We plough the fields and scatter. At the end of the service everyone was given a conker by the Dean of Ross to take home and plant in a pot or garden.
Dean Jeffers said:
We were delighted to welcome pupils from the Church of Ireland National Schools in West Cork to Ross Cathedral for a children’s harvest service. As we reflected on the healing of the ten lepers, we took the opportunity to thank God for all that he has given us.