On Thursday 23rd May and Friday 24th May Years 2, 3 and 4 put on a performance of “The Faith Comes To Thanet” for their parents and the local parish and visitors to Ramsgate for the local Saint Augustine’s Celebration Week organised by Father Marcus Holden – the school’s parish priest. The children of St. Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School told the story of the Romans taking Anglo Saxons to Rome as slaves and of Pope Gregory The Great in 595AD seeing these blonde headed slaves and saying that these “are not angles, but angels!”
The Pope then sent Saint Augustine – a Benedictine Monk - to England and he landed on The Isle of Thanet where he met King Ethelbert – who was a pagan and Queen Bertha who was already a Christian. St. Augustine was allowed to set up a church in Canterbury and eventually baptised King Ethelbert – who our primary school is dedicated to - and began bringing his missionary work to England.
The play was also filmed in three parts with Year 2 class acting the scene of the Pope seeing the slaves, Year 3 class being the missionary monks on their journey from Italy to Thanet and Year 4 class showing the monks in Thanet meeting King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha and teaching the locals to read and write.
The children have had the help of Chatham House Grammar School to make DVDs of the play and they have asked to send a copy to Pope Francis, The Queen and our Archbishop. Father Marcus thanked the staff and children , ”On behalf of the parish I would like to thank you all for an amazing production of 'The Gospel comes to Thanet'. The parishioners are still talking about it and it was one of the highlights for me during St Augustine's Week.”
Everyone in the school helped – Mr Dave Fry – the school caretaker – with painting the marvellous backdrops, Mr Bishop – Year 3 teacher - with the hymns and music, the parents with costumes and helping the children to remember their lines and Mrs Butchard-Thursten – the Deputy Headteacher- with writing and directing. David Turner - the Chair of the Governors said he was delighted in the way the school supported the local parish initiatives about ‘The Catholic Year of Faith’ and John Letts – the Headteacher – is immensely proud of the children and the way they really enjoyed the drama of their religious education lessons and entertaining the general public. “The children are very, very excited about the DVD and keep coming to me with a new list of people to send it to”.