Our Catholic Life – Our Journey in Faith
The Catholic life of The Willows is rich in opportunities for children to encounter God and to deepen their relationship with Him as a loving, compassionate Father. On this page we aim to share with you and celebrate many of the elements which make our Catholic school so special. Here you will find information to help families, the Parish and the school work together in supporting the development of our children’s faith.
At The Willows we have such strong links with our Parish community. We are so lucky to have the church next to our school grounds. Father Andrew is a regular visitor in school and each class in turn always enjoys joining the Parish for weekday Mass on a Tuesday. We are delighted that so many children join the Parish for Mass on a Sunday. Come along and join our celebrations. Mass begins at 11:00am every Sunday.
First Holy Communion & Reconciliation Preparation
Sacramental Preparation for Reconciliation and Holy Communion usually takes place when the children are in Year 3 and is led by the catechists of The Parish of The Holy Cross. Our children will begin their preparation to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion after Christmas. Once a week the children, along with their parents, meet together with the Parish Catechists and Father Andrew to discover the treasures of the church and talk about their life-long faith journey.
What a wonderful way in which to show our devotion to Our Lady. Each May we join with the Parish in unity to process around the church grounds and crown the statue of Mary. The procession is led by the First Communicant children of both The Willows and St. Joseph’s schools.
Kirkham Club Day
On the second Saturday in June the school join in procession with the Parish of The Holy Cross and the other churches of Kirkham. The traditional family day with a long history of bringing together the Churches in the town takes in all the main streets ending in a service at each of the churches. Each Church elects a Queen and together with her attendants, bands and banners it makes a special day for everyone.
The Bethany Family Children’s Choir
We were delighted to welcome The Bethany Family Children’s Choir from Tanzania to our school. Tanzania is one of the world’s very poorest countries. Its people are peace loving and friendly with a desire to develop their country to its full potential.The children in the family were once either orphaned, abandoned or abused. They live as one big family all helping with chores which include cleaning, washing clothes and cooking. Even so the children do have time for fun including singing and dancing with the choir. They shared their stories with us and performed for us. We all found it very uplifting and so full of joy. The children in school were so moved by the stories the children shared that they have asked to organise a fund raiser for the community.
We were delighted to welcome Mrs Wright to our school who led us in a whole school worship and then workshops as part of our preparation to welcome Jesus at Christmas. The theme of the day was ‘The Jesse Tree’. She shared the story of Ruth with us and we explored the story through retelling, role play, and activities.
Year 6 Mission Mass
Our Year 6 children joined the other Year 6 classes from our Deanery to take part in a special Mission Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church. Each school led a different part of the service and each school was presented with a candle to mark this special occasion. Each child also received a special book mark. Following the Mass the children took part in a workshop led by staff from Castlerigg Manor, the Diocesan Youth Service were we talked about our mission as a pupil in a Catholic school. It was a wonderful celebration and the children were a credit to our school and their families.
As part of our Lenten Mission work, in preparation for Easter, the children from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 organised a CAFOD sale for the whole school. The children worked hard to make various crafts as well as preparing for the host of games and activities the children took part in. Each child brought £1.00 into school and their class teacher exchanged this for 5 raffle tickets. Each child then ‘spent’ these raffle tickets on any of the crafts or games. All the money raised at the event was then donated to CAFOD. The children raised over £200.
We support our local charity ‘Care and Share’. They work in our local community to support families with providing goods, food and gifts. At harvest time we lead an assembly and provide food for the charity. In December Mrs Mckee one of the volunteers comes into school and leads each class in a session of fun games and activities. In return we bring in donations which Mrs Mckee and the other volunteers make up Christmas Gift Boxes which they then distribute to families in our area.
Each year in November we join with all the local churches and members of the local churches to remember people who died for us in the war.We process through the streets to the local cenotaph where we share a service of remembrance and lay a wreath on behalf of the school.
Year of the Eucharist
Following the National Eucharistic Congress to be held in Liverpool in September 2018 schools of the Diocese of Lancaster were invited by Bishop Paul to observe a ‘Year of the Eucharist’. He called schools to consider the place of the Eucharist in the life of the school and to take the opportunity to renew the Eucharistic heart of the school community.
Throughout the next year, we are taking part in a number of Diocesan events to help the children to consider the place of the Eucharist in the life of the school. Some of these events will be in school, some will be as part of our local family of Catholic Churches (Deanery) and some will be as part of the Diocese of Lancaster.
The first event took place in September when the children who received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion this year, from the Catholic schools in Lytham, St Anne’s, Freckleton, Warton, Kirkham and Wesham were invited to take part with their families in a Eucharistic procession, devotion and Benediction at St Joseph’s Church, Ansdell. It was a wonderful experience for our children and families.
On Friday 2nd November, our school community joined together to officially start the Year of the Eucharist. We very much enjoyed watching a video message from Bishop Paul calling us to take time to reflect on what the Blessed Sacrament means to us as individuals.
On Friday 23rd November, each class joined Fr Andrew in church to celebrate Benediction,. This is something we do every Advent to help us prepare for Jesus’ birth at Christmas. As this is such a special occasion, we invited our families to join their classes.
In June our Year 3 children joined the children from our Deanery for a Mass and Corpus Christi Procession at St. Joseph’s Ansdell. With music, flowers, and procession, we honoured Christ, present in our midst in the Eucharist.