On Tuesday 11th December 2018 Bishop Ralph attended Saint Pius X Catholic High School in Rotherham for their Annual Older Peoples’ Christmas Party. Around about 100 guests of honour from the parishes around the Dearne Valley, along with local residents, joined the Bishop for the 40th anniversary of the party.
The first party, organized as part of the school’s SVP society, took place in 1978 and was planned by former members of staff Tony Dodsworth and Mike Connolly. Tony, along with staff at school, has continued the tradition which is now firmly established in the Saint Pius X Learning Community calendar. Susan Smith, headteacher of Saint Pius X, spoke of her pride in the students in school. One guest summed up the views of those who attended saying “Above all we were impressed by the welcome we received from students and staff, and how attentive and cheerful the children were in seating and serving us, and their concern to make sure we had everything we needed”.
The guests enjoyed entertainment provided by students and staff as well as a Christmas afternoon tea which was provided by Morrisons. Students at school raise money throughout Advent to ensure that each guest leaves with a present. The evening was rounded off with some festive singing led by the Dearne Valley Singers who adapted the 12 Days of Christmas to mark Bishop Ralph’s presence by singing ‘A Bishop in a Pear Tree!’