Snippets of Faith

Year of the Word

Children with Fr Vincent.

12 March 2020

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have designated 2020 as The God who Speaks: A Year of the Word to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini - Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’.

This also commemorates the 1600th anniversary of death of St Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin.

The Year of the Word is a time where we are invited to celebrate, live and share God's word.

On Thursday 12th March, all children and families of St. Mark’s were invited to bring a bible from home to school to be blessed by Fr. Vincent during whole school Mass to celebrate The Year of the Word.

Knowing Scripture is Knowing Christ

Blessing our School Library

Father Vincent blessing our new library.

7 November 2019

On Thursday 7th November Father Vincent blessed our new school library in the presence of Mrs.Linley, Mr Hemmingway, Mrs O’Shea and the Spiritual Council.

Each member of the Spiritual Council read a bidding prayer.

Father Vincent commented on the library being a wonderful learning environment which can be enjoyed by all.

Harvest Mass

Some of the donations for our Harvest collection.

17 October 2019

On Thursday 17th October 2019 we held our Harvest Mass in school.

We would like to thank members of our parish, parents and family members for joining together with us at Mass for our Harvest celebration.

Many thanks to all those who donated food. The food we collected as a school community was then given to the charity SIFA at Fireside, who then distribute the food to people who need it.

An Invitation to Pray with Archbishop Longley

Everyone praying with Archbishop Longley.

9 October 2019

Through the wonders of modern technology, children at St. Mark’s gathered together on Wednesday 9th October to spend time praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with Archbishop Bernard Longley from St. Chad’s Cathedral.

Well done to all of St. Mark’s children. October is a special month; it is the month of the Holy Rosary and it is also Extraordinary Mission Month.

Reception Welcome Service

Reception's welcome service.

4 October 2019

On 4th October 2019 we held our annual welcome service for all of the pupils and staff new to St Mark’s this year. We welcomed them into the St Mark’s family and lit each candle to remind everybody to let their light shine during their time at St Mark’s.

We said the prayer: "Loving God, bless these children as they start at St. Mark’s School. They are your beloved children, with whom you are well pleased. Keep them safe in Your loving arms, no matter where they are. Comfort and care for their families who will miss them while they are at school today and every day. Bless all of the children and all members of our St. Mark’s family and bring them all together at the end of the day. Amen."

Spiritual Council Spread the Message of Extraordinary Mission Month

Reception children receiving their stickers.

1 October 2019

Well done to our Year 4 members of Spiritual Council for giving every child in Reception a mission month sticker.

Our Spiritual Council children gave all classes in Key Stage 2 a mission pledge to complete in their school planner and the younger children were given stickers to wear home to spread the word of God.

What’s your mission this month?

Staff make pledges for Extraordinary Mission Month

Staff pledges.

1 October 2019

In staff prayers this week, all the staff made a pledge to take some form of action to strengthen their relationship with God.

Staff spent some time reflecting on what it means to be a missionary and how they can be missionaries in their daily lives.

Spiritual Council lead Extraordinary Mission Month Assembly

Staff pledges.

30 September 2019

On 30th September, our Spiritual Council led a whole school assembly on Extraordinary Mission Month.

Pope Francis has declared that October 2019 will be a special month of prayer and action to strengthen and grow God’s mission through the Church. The spiritual council informed the whole school that they can learn a lot from missionaries living on earth today.

In October, we will be welcoming Dr. James Trewby to St. Mark’s, he is a columban missionary and he will be visiting St. Mark’s to speak to the children about the important work the columban missionaries do, and inspire them to help others.

Each of us has a mission... each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person. Pope Benedict XVI

Brother Andrew's Silver Jubilee Celebration

4 July 2019

During our Thursday Mass we celebrated Brother Andrew’s Silver Jubilee (25th Anniversary) of Religious Profession.

The children presented him with handmade cards to mark this occasion and he shared a delicious cake with the staff, we even sang one of his favourite hymns.

Congratulations and 'thank you' to Brother Andrew for all he does at St. Mark’s and for the parish community.

The Big School Tidy Up

3 July 2019

All of the St Mark’s community took part in the 'big school tidy up'. We wanted to help improve the environment on our doorstep by taking part in this initiative.

Each class took control of a different area in school and gave it a big tidy up and clean.

We discussed respected God’s creation. Respect for human life means respecting all of God’s creation. We must re-engage with our environment and take responsibility for it.

We remembered the words of Pope Francis - "Take good care of creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it."

Thank You to all of the children and staff for taking part in this event.

Bishop David Visits Years 5 and 6

Educating the children and answering their questions.

26 June 2019

On Wednesday 26th June 2019, Bishop David McGough visited the Year 5 and 6 children in preparation for their confirmation.

The children listened intently and had the opportunity to ask interesting questions.

FHC Thanksgiving Mass

Year 3 children with Fr Vincent.

13 June 2019

A huge thank you to Year 3 and Father Vincent who led us in a Thanksgiving Mass on Thursday 13th July in school.

This enabled the whole school community to celebrate them receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time with our whole school community.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

First Holy Communion.

9 June 2019

Congratulations to our children who received the Sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday 9th June.

We are thankful that Father Vincent, Brother Andrew and other members of the Holy Name Parish Clergy celebrated Mass with our school community.

We wish all of the children well as they continue their faith journey.

Lenten Cake Sales

A busy cake sale.

25 March 2019

For one week in Lent, each class took it in turns to bring in cakes to sell at break time to raise money for Fr. Hudson’s charity.

Well done to all the children that contributed by baking cakes, selling them or buying them to eat!

Father Hudson's Assembly

Learning about the Good Shepherd Appeal.

5 March 2019

On Tuesday 5th March Lucy Davis from the Good Shepherd Appeal came to speak to us all about the fund raising campaign.

When looking at the boxes and posters Lucy explained that Jesus is the Shepherd and the sheep are the children of God, she reminded us that we all are the children of God and that we need to reach out to others and help them especially during the Lenten period.

This Lent we will be fundraising with the Good Shepherd Appeal and Lucy explained all of the families and individuals that this fundraising can support. This included the homeless, refugees, children in schools, lonely older people, disabled people and vulnerable women and their families.

Lucy showed a video of some men who were able to turn their lives around after the support from the Good Shepherd Appeal to show the good work that goes on.

KS2 Carol Concert

18 December 2018

On Tuesday 18th December 2018, Key Stage 2 children came to the church, late in the evening, to perform for the parents.

The service included beautifully sung carols, wonderful acting to retell the Christmas Story and processing through the dark church with candle lights. It was a fantastic service.

Thank you to all parents and staff for their help. Well done to the children! You were amazing!

Adoremus in School

Sharing the Adoremus with everyone.

11 September 2018

On Tuesday 11th September, children in Years 2 to 6 took some time to sit and pray in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament with Archbishop Bernard Longley who through the wonders of modern technology, communicated to us live from his private chapel at Archbishop’s House in Birmingham.

It was a moving experience for all.

The Sacrament of First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion.

24 July 2018

Congratulations to our children who received the Sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday 24th June.

We are thankful that Bishop McGough, Father Allesandro and other members of the Holy Name Parish Clergy celebrated Mass with our school community.

Year 3 also led us in a Thanksgiving Mass on Thursday 5th July in school to celebrate with our whole school community.

Holy Name 80th Anniversary Celebration Mass

Gathering together for the special Mass.

6 July 2018

On Friday 6th July the whole school community celebrated Mass at Holy Name Church for the Church’s 80th Celebration Mass.

During the Mass we remembered and gave thanks to God for the 80th Anniversary of the Laying of the Church Foundation Stone and the opening of the church. We remembered the words of St Peter that we are ‘Living Stones, making a Spiritual House.’

Throughout the Mass we remembered the members of Our Parish Community, who continue to build upon the strong foundations of the past. It was a lovely occasion to bring our Parish Community together.

Year 3 Sacramental Meeting

Children preparing with their parents.

15 March 2018

On Thursday 15th March, the children making their Holy Communion joined Miss Ward, Mrs O’Shea, Miss Grant and their parents in school to complete activities that would prepare them for their reconciliation and Holy Communion.

The children had a lovely time sharing their ideas with their parents and the other adults involved.

We then all shared a supper of fish and chips to round off a beautiful evening.

Community Arts and Crafts Morning

Working together with members of the community.

20 December 2017

Our School Council members invited elderly members from our local community to our school during the festive season for an arts and crafts morning.

We worked together to make Christmas decorations.

We then served food and drink to our guests and enjoyed question and answer time, learning all about their lives.

Operation Christmas Child

School Council showing off some of the gift boxes.

1 November 2017

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to show God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

This year St Mark’s school council organised for our school to take part in this amazing event.

We were proud to donate 83 shoeboxes filled with toys, books, toiletries, stationary and send it to people less fortunate than ourselves. It is fantastic to show God's love through the power of simple shoebox gifts.

Harvest Mass

Celebrating our Harvest collection.

12 October 2017

As a school we collected food during the Harvest season. We gathered all of the donations in our school hall and celebrated with a special Harvest mass.

The food we collected as a school community was then given to the charity Brushstrokes, who then distribute the food to people who need it.

Welcome Service

Attending the Welcome Service.

29 September 2017

We welcomed the newest members of our St Marks family with a welcome service.

Reception led us on a service welcoming them into the school community. We said a special prayer as we were lighting the candle...

Loving God, bless these children as they start at St. Mark’s School. They are your beloved children, with whom you are well pleased. Keep them safe in Your loving arms, no matter where they are. Comfort and care for their families who will miss them while they are at school today and every day. Bless all members of our St. Mark’s family and bring them all together at the end of the day. Amen.

Giving to Brushstrokes for Lent

Spiritual Council with donated food items for Brushstrokes.

30 March 2017

As well as raising money for the Good Shepherd Appeal, the children at St. Mark’s also wanted to give to others less fortunate by donating food items. The food items will help refugees and those less fortunate in the wider community.

On Thursday 30th March, Teresa Clements from Brushstrokes joined the children for Mass and afterwards kindly thanked them for their donation.

Staff Prepare Meals for Local Homeless Charity

Staff helping with meals for the homeless.

28 March 2017

During Lent we as a school have tried to reach out with acts of compassion towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate; and show love, not just by our actions but by our forgiving words.

The children at St. Mark's have showed acts of compassion and love to neighbours within our local community by visiting elderly residents, within our parish community by serving tea and coffee to our parishioners and donating to the 'Brushstrokes' charity who aid the vulnerable and homeless in our wider community, across the entire city and further afield.

Our staff have also been compassionate and loving by supporting a local homeless charity; 'Saint Vincent de Paul Society' by preparing and serving 150 meals to those people who are facing daily challenges in everyday life.

The staff also donated money to sustain aspects of this homeless charity for the future and facilitated the acquisition of a passport and the safe passage of a young polish gentleman named Szymon, to return to his homeland so he could be reunited with his family from whom he had become separated.

Vocations visit from Father Chris Yule

Father Chris speaks to the children.

8 March 2017

On Wednesday 8th March, Fr. Chris Yule, who is a past pupil of St. Mark’s visited the school to speak to all the children about their Vocation.

Every class had the opportunity to ask Fr. Chris questions about his calling to the priesthood and the children shared their own thoughts about their vocation.

All the children at St. Mark’s School enjoyed spending time with Fr. Chris and learning more about Vocations.

Lent Fundraising

Learning about the Good Shepherd Appeal.

8 March 2017

On Wednesday 8th March, Lucy Davis from the Good Shepherd appeal visited St. Mark’s to explain to the children how their support can help others less fortunate than themselves.

Last year, we raised an amazing £1087.21 so we are hoping to do just as well this year. The money we raise enables Father Hudson’s Care to continue its work supporting children, adults and families across the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Every child has been given a Good Shepherd box to take home during Lent to fill with contributions from family members and coins that might ordinarily have been spent on sweets and treats. This is a reminder for us that Lent is a time of giving to others and a time whereby we make some sacrifices.

Year 3 Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

Year 3 making pancakes.

28 February 2017

On Tuesday 28th February, Year 3 celebrated Shrove Tuesday by eating some delicious pancakes!

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. It's a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Class Prayer Tables During Lent

One of our class Prayer Tables.

28 February 2017

During Lent, we remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

Prayer tables are arranged with the colour purple because it symbolizes repentance, and we recognise that Lent is a time to repent for our wrongdoings.

Our class prayer tables also contain a dish with sand in during Lent as this reminds us that Jesus was in the desert during this time.

Spiritual Council Learning Walk

Two schools coming together.

30 January 2017

In January, St. Mark’s Spiritual Council carried out a learning walk at St. John Bosco Catholic Primary School in West Bromwich.

The following week, the Spiritual Council children from St. John Bosco then visited St. Mark’s to carry out a learning walk.

Both visits were extremely useful and the children gave some great ideas on how the Catholic Life of each school could be improved.

Missionaries of Charity

The Sisters speak to the children.

15 November 2016

On Tuesday 15th November, two Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity situated in Kingstanding came to visit the children at St. Mark's.

The Missionaries of Charity work hard to serve the poorest of the poor in the community and this year marked a special year for them because their founder; Mother Teresa was canonized on 4th September 2016 by Pope Francis.

During their visit, the Sisters spoke to each class about Saint Teresa, the work the Missionaries of Charity do and they answered many questions from the children about their vocation, service and mercy. It was a very humbling afternoon and the children were left feeling very inspired to continue some of the great work they have shown during the Year of Mercy.

Harvest Thanksgiving Mass

Teresa from Brushstrokes and St. Mark's Spiritual Council with Mrs. O'Shea.

13 October 2016

On Thursday 13th October, Year 3 led the whole school in a Thanksgiving Harvest Mass which was well attended by many members of St. Mark's School Community.

Well done to Year 3 and to all the children at St. Mark's who brought in tinned and packaged food.

All the food collected was donated to the Brushstrokes Community Project, which supports people in our community to rebuild their lives; settle in to new homes and find employment or education opportunities.

The Children's Pilgrimage

Year 6's pilgrimage to St Chad's Cathedral.

23 September 2016

On Friday 23rd September, Year 6 attended the 'The Children's Pilgrimage' at St. Chad's Cathedral along with nine other schools in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

On arrival, the children walked through the Door of Mercy and then had some reflection time to complete a pilgrimage shell. It was a spiritual time to think about the Year of Mercy inside the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The children had time to explore and encounter fellow pilgrims on the journey and to feel inspired about Christian life today. Dan Callow and Emily Clark from Onelife Music led the liturgy and music for the Mass. All the children had an enjoyable time singing along and using sign language to deliver God's message.

Fr. Jonathan Vesey celebrated Mass and it was wonderful to see children from all the schools that attended take part. It was a glorious pilgrimage and all the children were glad to have taken part in such a special occasion.

Saint Mark's Feast Day

Spiritual Council lead the liturgy.

25 April 2016

On Monday 25th April, on the feast day of St. Mark, the Spiritual Council led the whole school in a special liturgy.

St. Mark was graced with many talents, but one in particular was his gift for writing. Through his Gospel, we are revealed many of the small details of the life of Jesus – his words and actions – that the other Gospel writers did not record.

Well done to all the members of the Spiritual Council for leading such a special liturgy!

Spiritual Council Assembly on the Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross Assembly.

24 February 2016

On Wednesday 24th February, the Spiritual Council led an assembly on the Stations of the Cross.

They reverently led the school in some reflection of each image of each station of the cross.

Good Shepherd Appeal

Good Shepherd assembly.

23 February 2016

On Tuesday 23rd February, a visitor from Father Hudson's Care visited St. Mark's School to explain to the children how they can participate in almsgiving during Lent by collecting money in the Good Shepherd Appeal money boxes.

Year of Mercy

The Spiritual Council led the school assembly.

8 December 2015

On Tuesday 8th December, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the Spiritual Council alongside Mrs. O'Shea and Mrs. Linley, led the school with a Year of Mercy assembly.

The Spiritual Council explained to the whole school that Pope Francis wants us all to think about the mercy of God for this year and to consider our relationship with God Our Father through prayer and the way we live our lives.

He is giving us a whole year to do this!

Pope Francis wants us to reflect and pray upon some important messages and the first thing we need to remember is how much God loves us.

God loves each and every one of us and he wants us all to believe in him and follow him.

The Spiritual Council gave many great examples of how God and Jesus showed mercy and they explained how we can learn from their examples and show mercy to others.

The special assembly ended with the whole school singing the Magnificat and saying the Year of Mercy prayer together.

As the Year of Mercy progresses, there will be more special events and activities taking place.

Deacon Chris Visits Year 6

Deacon Chris speaking to Year 6.

18 November 2015

On Wednesday 18th November 2015, Year 6 were visited by a former St. Mark's pupil, Deacon Chris, who spoke with great enthusiasm to the children about vocations, building upon their recent Religious Education lessons about the followers of Christ (Unit 6B).

The children all agreed that Deacon Chris had encouraged and inspired them to explore their calling from God in greater depth.

They were especially intrigued to hear that Deacon Chris was a keen Aston Villa supporter!

Remembrance Day Assembly

Our Remembrance Day assembly.

11 November 2015

On Thursday 11th November, Mrs Dykes and the school spiritual council led a whole school Remembrance Assembly.

The assembly honoured the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices made by men and women in past wars. We honoured these with a two minutes silence.

Harvest Celebration

Our Spiritual Council with Louise from SIFA Fireside and some of the many food items donated.

15 October 2015

We would like to thank members of our school community, Parish, parents and grandparents for joining together with us at Mass for our Harvest celebration on Thursday 15th October 2015.

Many thanks to all those who donated food parcels. All the donated items of food have been sent to SIFA Fireside which is a dynamic Birmingham based charity improving health and inclusion for homeless people.

The receivers of these gifts will be overwhelmed with your kindness and generosity.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Bishop McGough and the Confirmandi.

27 January 2015

On the evening of Tuesday 27th January 2015, the Saint Mark's school community joined together as one at Holy Name Church to witness the Year 5 and Year 6 Confirmandi become full members of the Church through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

After many months of preparation, all of the children received the sacrament with thought and reverence and were a credit to both their families and Saint Mark's School.

During the ceremony, Bishop McGough called down the Holy Spirit to be with the children and to guide them on their journeys of faith. We pray that their commitment to the Church will continue to grow, so that they may be witnesses of God's eternal love throughout the world.

A Visit from Bishop McGough

Bishop McGough meets the children.

26 January 2015

On Monday 26th January 2015, the Year 5 and Year 6 Confirmandi were extremely excited to welcome a very special visitor, Bishop David McGough, to Saint Mark's.

The visit of Bishop McGough marked their final day of preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Following an informal discussion covering all aspects of their faith, Bishop McGough commented on how impressed he was with the children's knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be a committed follower of Christ and to become a full member of the Church.