Bradford Cathedral was abuzz with excitement as Year 6 pupils from eight Bradford and District Church of England schools gathered on Thursday, 6th July, for the highly anticipated annual Leavers’ Service.

The Cathedral, hosting its traditional Year 6 Leavers’ Service, brought together enthusiastic pupils and staff from local Church of England primary schools. The event served as a joyous celebration and an occasion for expressing gratitude. It provided an opportunity for the Year 6 students to reflect on their time spent in primary school and eagerly anticipate their forthcoming transition to new schools in September. This year, the service centred around the theme of “Friendship.”

The Reverend Ned Lunn, Canon for Intercultural Mission and the Arts, skillfully led the service. The prayers were thoughtfully composed and presented by students from Shipley CofE Primary School, while the children from St. Luke’s CofE Primary School delivered a captivating dramatisation of a Bible reading. Musical accompaniment was provided by the talented individuals from the Zephaniah Trust and the Bradford Cathedral music department. Adding an extra touch of enchantment, Simon Dennis, the Cathedral’s Director of Finance, even treated the attendees to a mesmerising magic show.

The Cathedral itself was adorned with a charming display of hand designs created by the attending pupils. These hands carried profound messages highlighting the immense power of friendship. It was heartwarming to witness the contributions from both those who were present and those who were unable to attend the event.

Maggie Myers, the Director of Education and Visitors, expressed her delight at the overwhelming turnout, stating, “It was wonderful to welcome so many pupils and staff from our Church of England primary schools to the Cathedral to celebrate together the special time they’ve had at primary school and to reflect on what is to come.

“We were sorry that a number of schools had to pull out, and that we had to cancel the afternoon service, because of public sector industrial action, but were delighted that so many still managed to come to the morning service, and the Cathedral was once again filled with Year 6 children.

“It is always a highlight of the year for us.”