An Advent for St Mary's Church

Earlier this term, St Mary’s Catholic Church in Bath, reached out to Prior Park College’s creative design department to commission an advent image for the children’s liturgy group, to be used in the run up to Christmas.

Under the inspirational leadership of Mr James Buckley, Art teacher and Co-ordinator of Photography, the College set about trying to meet the brief. After long conversations with the DT department, they decided to build an advent calendar, with one door to be opened on each Sunday of Advent and a central door to open on Christmas day. Mrs Stotesbury, Deputy Head Academic, helped the College artists to interpret the gospels so that the images would help the adults leading each week to stimulate discussion. George Braham, DT technician, devised and built most of the beautiful wooden frame that included an LED lit star to lead the way to the manger and intricate stable doors – complete with latch - that conceal the nativity image for 25 December.

On Sunday 2nd December, the Parish used the calendar for the first time. Children were eager to help open the first door and switch on the star light. Father Jeremy gave a special vote of thanks as it was brought up to the altar during the offertory procession.

One of the adult catechists who runs the children's liturgy group commented, "What a wonderful gift. We know that it will help the children to mark advent as a special time of year and we will make use of it for years to come."

What did the children make of it? "I love turning on the star because it is bright and cheerful" said one little boy aged 4. "I can't wait for Christmas because of the presents, but also because we will open the stable door - I hope I get to do it.”