Parishioners were treated to Christmas lunch, complete with festive entertainment, when an Ashington school opened its doors to members of the community. It was the third year that St Aidan’s Catholic Primary had hosted the event, with the help of the school’s ‘Mini Vinnies’ – a group of eight Year 5 pupils, led by the school’s Key Stage 1 Lead, Nichola Givens.

The Mini Vinnies are the junior branch of the St Vincent De Paul Society, and part of their mission is to help their community – what better way than this?” said Michael Moran, Headteacher at the school, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust. “Our newly elected Mini Vinnies served the food and waited on the parishioners. They also welcomed and greeted.

The 20 lucky guests enjoyed a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings, which was prepared by Kitchen Manager Jane Burgess, with the help of Assistant Cook Anne Sharpe, and Kitchen Assistant Ann-Louise Bowen.

Entertainment was provided by a 30-strong group of St Aidan’s young performers, drawn from years 3 to 6, who were put through their paces by Higher Level Teaching Assistant Saira Laird.

The parishioners also got a sneak preview of our performing arts group Show Club’s numbers,” continued Mr Moran. “This year they have been working on two numbers – one from the musical Six and one from Matilda. They love it. They can’t believe the quality of the food, and love the fact that the children are so welcoming. They commented that the performers get better each year.

Events like this are so important,” he added. “Our church is over a mile-and-a-half away, so we can’t really walk it, and without events like this, we just wouldn’t be able to maintain that link as closely. We always take the children to Mass so they can see the church, but it’s just as important that the parishioners see the school. It’s brilliant for them to be able to come and see our school and keep the links between us strong.

Article created on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust by Barking Dog Media. For more information email: or call 07754 271086.