Letters for refugee families written by children from the Fens handed to Pope Francis at the Vatican by the Bishop of East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 17:42 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:42 14 July 2016

Bishop Alan Hopes presenting the letters, artwork and book to Pope Francis

Bishop Alan Hopes presenting the letters, artwork and book to Pope Francis


Letters for refugee families, written by March school children, have been handed to Pope Francis by the Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes, during a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome.

All Saints pupil Dolly with her Door of Mercy which was taken to Rome.All Saints pupil Dolly with her Door of Mercy which was taken to Rome.

The letters from year five and six pupils at the All Saints Inter-Church Academy in March, were written to the refugee families who were recently housed at the Vatican by Pope Francis, as part of a Year of Mercy project.

The pupils also produced some Doors of Mercy artwork which was given to March parish priest Fr Paul Maddison, to take to Rome. They were presented to the Pope by Bishop Alan, along with a copy of a history book written to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of East Anglia.

All Saints year five and six teacher, Charlotte Harrison, explained: “As a class we wanted to create some artwork which would represent the Year of Mercy doors in our own way. We decided on plaques, incorporating William Morris patterns, many with doors which could be opened.

“Our year five children wrote some very beautiful letters which Fr Paul kindly took along to Rome along with some of our artwork. We had carried out quite a lot of work linked with the plight of the refugees and our letters were part of our work.

“We also decided to raise money for the Toilet Twinning charity which paid for a latrine in Pakistan and a whole school toilet block in Sierra Leone.

“I’m so proud of what they achieved and the positive impact it will have on others.”

Charlotte said: “Our Year of Mercy work has evolved into us going on to carry out different practical activities and so I feel that it has been a very much alive here at All Saints.

“The children were overjoyed when I told them about their work being handed to Pope Francis.”

“ One of the children - Ilona - said that she couldn’t believe how their work could reach the hands of Pope Francis through just two other people and that it made her feel like Pope Francis was a friend we now knew.”

Bishop Alan also presented a copy of Catholic East Anglia, a history book which marks the 40th anniversary of the Diocese of East Anglia, to the Pope.

Bishop Alan said: “Pope Francis was very pleased to receive the letters, artwork and history book. He also wished the diocese happy birthday.”

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