CHILDREN, STAFF AND LOCAL COMMUNITY JOIN TOGETHER FOR SHARED WORSHIP
As part of their Shared Education Programme, Trentagh and St Joseph’s celebrated a joint Christmas Service.
A national school was first opened in Trentagh near Letterkenny in 1827 and was run under the management of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
The school in Trentagh has always been a pioneer of shared education. As there was no other school in the area, children from all denominations and faiths attended the school together. This remained the pattern until St Joseph’s NS opened in 1955. Both schools are situated in close proximity and serve a rural community. Sustained friendships within the community is vital to its survival and Shared Education seemed to provide a mechanism for embedding this.
Although the culture of the school is firmly founded on the Presbyterian ethos, the school continues to enjoy catering for children from a variety of religious backgrounds. All faiths are celebrated in an atmosphere of respect, learning and understanding . So, as the season of Advent approached and both schools prepared for the coming of the Christ child, it seemed a natural outcome of the Shared Education Programme, that the two partner schools, Trentagh and St Joseph’s would celebrate a joint Christmas Service. The idea was warmly welcomed by the parents of the children and the respective Boards of Management. Readings were carefully chosen and rehearsed, carols practiced and even a puppet show narrating the true spirit of Christmas was incorporated into the event. Both Principals Norma Summers and Grainne O’Donnell felt the inter-faith event reflected the growing friendships of pupils, staff and communities and their shared vision for a united community.