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Remembrance, Art and Healing: Children’s Art at St Paul’s Cathedral

Special art days on the theme of Remembrance

Three days of workshops for primary school children were held at St Paul's Cathedral in the first week of November 2015.

Emily Strode, from the Cathedral’s Schools and Families Department, said:

‘Many people often come to St Paul’s to remember their own family and friends. It’s also a place of national gathering, such as after the awful events of September 11. We wanted children to think about how we remember people after they die, and consider the importance of this.’

Pupils explored the Cathedral, focussing on memorials, famous tombs and artworks, thinking about:

  • What is remembrance?
  • What does it involve?
  • How do we remember?

Artworks were chosen for their significance for remembrance, reconciliation and healing. These included artist Gerry Judah’s colossal WWI memorial installations.

Children also examined a WWI altar frontal lovingly embroidered by severely injured soldiers as part of their rehabilitation in UK hospitals.

Artist Regan O’ Callaghan led practical art workshops to produce the children’s’ own communal altar frontals in response to the themes of the visit.  These were displayed and blessed inside St Paul’s at the end of the day.  

Regan said: ‘May these altar frontals be a reminder of our creativity, our joy and our thankfulness in our humanity.’

Feedback from previous visits to other St Paul’s events includes:

It was fabulous! Children loved that they could get involved and share their ideas. Leader shared interesting and appropriate stories’ - Braintcroft Primary, London NW2  

Children’s attention held all the time! Well done! Thank you very much!!’ - Our Lady Primary, London N10  

Thank you for an excellent day and meeting our needs so well’ - Greenacre School, Surrey  

Contact jfletcher@stpaulscathedral.org.uk or estrode@stpaulscathedral.org.uk for further information on similar events and educational opportunities for school students.