St Mary Magdalen pupils attend annual Commonwealth Service

Pupils from St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary School in Penwortham, South Ribble, travelled to London for the UK’s annual Commonwealth Service.  

Mrs Edmondson and headteacher Mrs McKinnon joined the Year 5 and 6 pupils.  It was the first time for some of the children on a mainline train and for many, the first time they had visited London.  

At Westminster, the group was met by Katherine Fletcher MP’s team, who led an engaging walking tour of the Houses of Parliament, starting in Westminster Hall and then moving into the lobby, House of Commons and House of Lords.   

Katherine Fletcher, who is MP for South Ribble, then joined the group and told them some of her stories from inside the walls of parliament.  

Following lunch, the group moved to the nearby Westminster Abbey where they were led into their seats for the Commonwealth Service.  

Representatives from 56 nations spanning five geographical regions, including some of the largest economies on earth as well as the smallest of islands, celebrated their unity of vision and common commitment to peace and justice.  

The group had a front row view as the flags of the Commonwealth paraded past, followed by dignitaries and the Royal family – King Charles III, The Queen Consort, Prince William, Princess Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence.  

The programme also featured entertainment and a special reflection by young Samoan environmental advocate Brianna Fruean.  

During the Commonwealth Day Service, His Majesty King Charles III addressed the gathering as Head of the Commonwealth for the first time. Delivering his Commonwealth Day Message from the Great Pulpit, he hailed the “extraordinary potential” of the Commonwealth.  

Following the service, the group had a walking tour visiting St James Park, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.  

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