Stonyhurst College’s two-day faith mission

Fr Philip Endean SJ at the opening procession for Stonyhurst College's first Mission Week
Fr Philip Endean SJ at the opening procession for Stonyhurst College's first Mission Week

The traditional timetable was suspended for two and a half days as Stonyhurst College held its first ever whole-school Mission.

The event saw the whole community focussing on the 400-year-old Jesuit school’s purpose and identity.

Every pupil, aged from three to 18, considered their faith, their unique talents, and their vocation in life. Let Your Light Shine was the theme underpinning the Mission.

Visiting speakers talked about some of the world’s urgent challenges, such as religious persecution, the plight of refugees and homelessness.

Baroness Caroline Cox spoke about her charity, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, which offers advocacy and aid to persecuted people who are ‘off the radar’.

Professor Lord Alton raised awareness about the plight of persecuted people in Pakistan and Burma.

Stonyhurst pupils were also very active during the Mission, raising over £2,000 for an African refugee charity by taking part in a relay race.

All the sixth-form students volunteered at local special schools, care homes, hospices, charities for the homeless and foodbanks. Senior citizens attended a tea-party at the prep school, St Mary’s Hall.

Award-winning Rise Theatre gave a presentation on wellbeing and happiness.

The Ten Ten theatre group worked with children at the prep school, while CJM Music led each year-group in joyful singing.

On Thursday evening, pupils, staff and visiting musicians pooled their talents and gave a concert. A celebratory firework display took place on the final evening. Two events culminated in a mass.

On the morning after terrorist attacks in Paris, Father Philip Endean, the principal celebrant, said: “When we talk and sing about letting our lights shine, we’re not talking about something easy.

“The terrible news shouldn’t take away the joy and enthusiasm with which we celebrate our faith, but it can serve to remind us that the faith we celebrate will always be something of a challenge, a provocation, an expression of hope against the background of a world often tempted towards despair.”