Successful St Patrick’s Event at Broughshane Parish

A successful St Patrick’s event at Broughshane Parish took place from 14th – 17th March 2018. Connor Children’s Council told the story of the life of St Patrick through a four-day interactive exhibition and story trail hosted in St Patrick’s Church, Broughshane.

Successful St Patrick's Event at Broughshane Parish

Invited local schools enjoyed the exhibition on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then on Saturday it opened its doors to the public, with more than 200 people coming along.

The Adventure began on Wednesday 14th March, when pupils from four schools attended, took part in two workshops.  This included a history workshop looking at St Patrick’s life, and an art workshop, where the pupils drew Celtic crosses onto canvas.

Successful St Patrick's Event at Broughshane Parish

The children also followed the interactive story trail. Here, actors brought the story of St Patrick to life depicting his capture by pirates, his slavery in Ireland and his consequent escape after six long years.
The story moved on to Patrick’s calling by God. This eventually led him back to Ireland as a bishop to share the Christian faith with the Irish people. There was fun and humour along the way as the pupils were captured alongside Patrick and put on the pirate ship to row to Ireland.

Successful St Patrick's Event at Broughshane Parish

On day two, children from four more schools took part in the workshops and story trail. This was followed on Friday by three more schools coming to learn more about Patrick’s adventurous life.

The acting cast was led by Ross Jonas and Chris Neilands from the Play It By Ear drama company. Also Aimee Gibson, Victoria Jackson, Andrew Neill and Stephen Whitten and members of Connor’s Children’s & Youth Councils. Richard Reade, Violet Lucas, Amanda Gregg and Sarah Gamble from Broughshane Parish were also involved.

Special visitors on the first day included Archdeacon Paul Dundas and Keith Turner from UUP leader Robin Swann’s office.
Each day there were prizes for competitions including the ‘Design and colour a snake pattern’ and the ‘Design a 3D snake’ class competition!

Pupils who attended ‘were entralled’ at the successful St Patrick’s event at Broughshane Parish.

Connor Children’s Officer Jill Hamilton said: “Teachers commented that their pupils were enthralled throughout the story trail and were listening very well. They learned some new information about the life of Patrick to take back to school and discuss further.”

On Saturday the event opened up to the public. Jumping Clay from Magherafelt showed the children how to make a leprechaun keyring. The Spotty Dog Craft Studio ran a workshop. At it each child got their own ceramic sheep to paint and decorate in honour of Patrick’s time minding sheep on nearby Slemish Mountain.
There was a café which was much appreciated by all the parents and grandparents.
A highlight of the final day was Irish dancing by Sophie Lister-Tinsley from Jordan Dance School. Sophie travels around the UK and Europe taking part in Irish dancing competitions.

Jill said the team had worked closely with the rector and parishioners of St Patrick’s Broughshane. Their enthusiasm and willingness to be involved made this a real joint venture.
“Parishioners took part in the acting, the workshops for schools, the café and the set up and take down. It was brilliant to work in partnership with them and because of their help the event was a great success.”

Read more news from the Diocese of Connor here.