Community Feast Day is a key date in the Farnborough Hill calendar, a time when we join the Sisters to celebrate the founding of their Order and enjoy the privilege of witnessing their renewal of vows. Of course, we had to adapt proceedings this year to meet COVID restrictions but we still managed to put together a day which honoured the legacy of the Sisters.
The celebrations began with a special Assembly in our Year Group bubbles and handmade cards from each of the Tutor Groups were brought up to be sent to the Sisters. Later, we were blessed to welcome, for the first time, Fr Aaron Spinelli from St John the Evangelist Catholic Parish in Horsham for our Mass for the Community Feast Day. Fr Aaron gave a beautiful explanation of the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the vows that the Sisters of the Religious of Christian Education made when they dedicated themselves to God and teaching girls. He reminded us all that God has a plan for each of us, and how we must seek and discover how we can use our unique gifts and talents for the world. The Mass was in the Chapel and streamed to Year Group bubbles. We also had Sisters watching in England, Ireland and the US! So it was a true ‘Community’ celebration.
The day ended with an entertainment programme organised by Mrs Lori Winch-Johnson, filmed in advance and broadcast to both pupils and the Sisters watching from around the world.
Beautifully filmed and edited by Mr Tim Perkins, the entertainment focussed on the extensive work of the RCE in America setting up schools, orphanages and refuges. Mrs Winch-Johnson paid tribute to the forward-looking women who undertook this work. Lower Sixth creative writing students were asked to imagine the experiences of these pioneering Sisters and they read their resultant narratives, poetry and prose during the entertainment. These readings were interspersed with music with an American theme, and dance taking the symbol of the rainbow, which is very representative of the current year. The event ended with a prayer read by Mrs Nelle Dalton. Also featured were artwork and embroidered bookmarks which have been created by our talented Lower Sixth students as gifts for our own Sisters and for Sister Martha Brigham.