Stonyhurst’s Confirmation Sunday and Hummingbird Project

Bishop John Arnold with Confirmation candidates
Bishop John Arnold with Confirmation candidates

On Sunday 6 May, forty Stonyhurst pupils received the Sacrament of Confirmation by Right Reverend Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, in St Peter’s Church.

The Bishop, who had indeed a very busy weekend as the previous afternoon had been in Walsingham, was very generous with his time, spending a good part of his visit talking with the pupils and their families.

“The day was a celebration of both our Faith and the diversity and international nature of our young people at Stonyhurst," says Grammar Playroom Master Dave Eachus, who was the co-ordinator for the Confirmations. "Forty families from around the UK, mainland Europe and as far afield as Mexico came to support their children as they celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation. Bishop John Arnold engaged the congregation and was the empathetic cornerstone of what was an inspiring and beatiful service and a true celebration of our Catholic Faith.” 

Among the Confirmation candidates, two had been received into the Church on Wednesday morning. The vast majority of the pupils were in Year 10 and, as it was also the Grammar parents’ weekend, it was wonderful to see so many families attending.

John Browne, Headmaster at Stonyhurst, says “It was a wonderful weekend: forty college pupils were confirmed on the most glorious of days. A huge thank you goes to Fr Tim, Catherine Hanley and the Chaplaincy Team for all the preparation required.”

On the same Sunday, the sun shone high also for the Hurst Green village fête. Year 12 [Poetry] pupils of Stonyhurst attended the event to raise awareness and funds for the Hummingbird Project.

Working with Caritas Diocese of Salford, Stonyhurst has become a community sponsor for a Syrian refugee family, as part of the UK Government's Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). The project aims to resettle a refugee family within the community in autumn this year.

Staff and parents of the three schools in Hurst Green - Stonyhurst College, St Mary’s Hall Stonyhurst, and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School -, as well as members of the local Catholic and Anglican Parishes and residents of the village, have helped to bring together the initiative.

In December last year, on Campion Day, the Run for Refugees participants – including the inspirational ultra-runner Mr Evans, who covered more than 36 miles - and their sponsors have helped raise over £2,500 to the cause. Another fundraising event took place in April, with the Family Bingo and Quiz Night.