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Donkey Festival

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Three of our student were invited to St John the Baptist Church in Cirencester to celebrate the Festival of the Donkey. They had the exciting role of being shepherds.

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On our arrival Lexxie, Ryan and Scott were taken to get their costumes on. They were really excited as the church was filling up with people from so many different walks of life. They were then introduced to the donkey that they would be leading, her name was Stella. This was after Miss Maunder and Mrs Sanders convinced Ryan he wasn't wearing a dress but a traditional shepherds costume. As we took our places at the back of the church with 6 donkeys, 2 sheep, 1 chicken and a dog, we passed the conregation, made up of all ages. The service had a special focus on including the elderly, disabled, people with special needs and their carers. The pupils were interested in talking to people and integrated well. All three of the pupils enjoyed meeting the animals especailly Scott who took a partically interest in the donkeys and asked lots of questions. Ryan on the other hand was not too keen on the sheep as they kept bleating and he thought they would bite him, but Mrs Sanders used her farming expertise and explained to Ryan they were vegetarian.

The service began and the pupils walked round the church with the donkey, they then participated in the renactment of the birth of Jesus. They enjoyed joining in singing the hymns as they waited with aniticipation for their main role in the service, which was leading the donkey with the body of Jesus on after his crucifixion. They were not fazed at all by the 250+ congregation that they had to walk through and did it with pride and were very proud to be involved.

Staff and children enjoyed the service and would like to thank organisers for giving Lexxie, Scott and Ryan this experience.