St John Payne School in Chelmsford was the venue of this year’s CJSR Schools Day. Twelve schools from across the Diocese joined the day – Grays Convent, Brentwood Ursuline, Palmer Academy, New Hall, St Benedict’s, St Bonaventure’s, St Mark’s, St Thomas More, Trinity, De La Salle, Campion and of course St John Payne.
This year’s theme was Every Child is Precious and looked at the rights of the child and trafficking. Theresa Helm from the J&P office of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary led the workshop on trafficking, and Denise from the Brentwood CAFOD office led the workshop on the rights of the child, including moving testimony from Abu, a former child combatant she met in Sierra Leone.
Abu Baka’s story of being a child soldier in Sierra Leone is thought-provoking, student
All the students participated fully during the workshops, which addressed difficult issues, and left the day with ideas of how they can help to raise awareness about the issues discussed with their school communities.
The closing liturgy included a powerful representation of breaking the chains that bind children and so many others in our world to a life not of their making.
The morning had commenced with the Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Simon Moules, explaining his role in the Diocese.
Many thanks to the staff who accompanied the students, to St John Payne for hosting the day, and to Davina Bolt of the Commission for Justice & Social Responsibility for organising the day.