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The “Ignite” conference on the 5-7th October brought together twenty-four year 6 children from the six Jesuit schools in the U.K.
St Mary’s Hall (SMH) and St Joseph’s, Hurst Green co-hosted the event at Stonyhurst.
We welcomed St Aloysius, Glasgow, St John’s Beaumont, Windsor, Barlborough Hall near Sheffield and Donhead, Wimbledon.
“Ignite” is drawn from the words of St Ignatius who challenges us to “Go Forth and set the world on fire”- in other words, to make a difference in the lives of others.
Exchanging news of their schools and exploring the theme of generosity, the children were able to deepen their shared Jesuit identity.
Eight children stayed at SMH with the boarders whilst the remainder were billeted with families from St Joseph’s.
New friendships were formed as they took part in drama sessions about the lives of the Jesuit martyrs; discussed ways of being generous in the community; learned about the qualities of ‘Truth’ and ‘Eloquence’; celebrated Mass and spent time in prayer and reflection. Additionally, the schools had a marvellous afternoon viewing the historical collections at Stonyhurst with the curator Mrs Jan Graffius, as well as a tour of the College.
The children taking part from SMH were: Grace K, Olivia Y, Elias C and William G and from St Joseph’s: Paul O’C, John Gerard T, Grace K and Ellie B.
My thanks to: Elizabeth Stevens (Head teacher) and Cathy Poloczek at St Joseph’s, Simon Flanagan and Sarah Fairfoot at SMH, Jan Graffius at the College and all who contributed to this wonderful event.
Clare McCullough, SMH Lay Chaplain