Dear parents

Our Patronal Feast Day on the 25th of November celebrates the Feast of Saint John Berchmans, of whom the school is named. He was a dedicated Jesuit who went to Rome to study. St John was considered a very fine scholar and in his early 20s was asked to host a symposium of gathering Jesuits. The Feast Day is a reminder for us to always do our best while living out the Jesuit Pupil Virtues. It is also a time to stop and reflect on those around us who do not have our luxuries and opportunities. St John said ‘It is not about doing great things, but doing the small things greatly’. 

With our Patronal Feast Day 2 weeks away we are starting to ask for donations of food and toys. Last year we collected 137 toys and books as well as a vast amount of food, including over 80 cartons of long-life milk.

This year we are supporting the Salvation Army in Addlestone and they have asked for specific Christmas food items along with basic staples. With costs of food and petrol increasing and interest rates rising, the poorest of our community are finding this year a particular struggle. The donations we give can be the difference between celebrating Christmas and the 25th of December being just another day. 

We are asking for toys and books for all ages. They must be new with prices removed. Do not wrap the gifts as parents will come to the Salvation Army and choose what they want for their children. However, if you would like to donate wrapping paper as well I know they would be very grateful. Last year our donations helped to support 500 of Runnymede’s poorest families so their children had something to open on Christmas Day. 

We are also collecting food for the Salvation Army. They give out Christmas hampers so that families can have some nice treats on the day. We are asking for specific Christmas treats as well as the most sort after staples. They would prefer quantity over quality to help more people, so lots of cheaper own brands items are better. 

During these difficult times, it is important to help all those we can. Jesus teaches us that whenever we help others, we help him. Matthew 25:35. 

Ms Vickie Gillespie
Lay Chaplain