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Dear Parent/Carer,

As the season of Advent and Christmas approaches, as always at The Barlow, we are preparing to engage in our Christmas Mission. This is part of our tradition and we are proud of our community for embracing this with such commitment and enthusiasm. This year we made the decision to ask our students to nominate the charities they would like to fund raise for and following on from this, our GIFT Team and Pupil Chaplains used those nominations to pick four charities for The Barlow to support with the funds we raise.

We are supporting the following charities

This year we are supporting CLIC Sargent (www.clicsargent.org.uk) a cancer charity that helps young people suffering from this dreadful disease. We are also supporting MIND (www.mind.co.uk). Mental health is in crisis within our communities and we want to help support those who are suffering and feeling alone.  We are also supporting the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity (www.rmchcharity.org.uk) as this hospital has done so much for children both past and present in our own community. Finally, we are supporting CICRA (www.cicra.org) a lesser known but hard working charity that cares for children with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis, funding research into the causes and treatment.

We are also collecting food parcels

As always, we are also collecting food items for our local community and each family group has a 'Bingo' Food Hamper to complete - your child will be able to tell you what item they have been asked to provide; this is so we don't end up with lots of tins of baked beans and little else! Each hamper we create will have a range of different goods. Please could we ask that you check dates carefully on all items before sending them into school? Our Head Boy and Head Girl have also asked we provide 15 extra hampers this year for those in a special sheltered home in Manchester whilst recovering from long-term mental health illnesses, so the food items are even more important this year.

Non-Uniform Day for the Orphanage in Bolivia

As always at this time of year we will support the orphanage in Bolivia and to raise the money for this charity we would like pupils to come to school on Friday 14th December 2018 wearing their own clothes. The minimum donation is £1 - if all pupils and staff brought in £1, we would be able to give them £800.

We would really appreciate your help and support at this special time in our community. Last year we raised just over £4000 with your generosity and the hard work of the students and staff. If each student raises just £5 each we can smash that total this year! Please support us in trying to help these important charities; as a Catholic Community it is our duty to help those who are in need of support.

Bishop - Right Reverend John Arnold Visits the Barlow

Additionally, we have our Bishop, the Right Reverend John Arnold, joining us on the last day of term for our liturgies and the blessing of our school chapel and our newly created Rainbow Garden (for those who are bereaved). We are busy preparing for this and are very excited about his visit. Thank you to all those who have helped with our appeal for our Rainbow Garden and please contact us at school if you are able to help.

Finally, we are also preparing for our Christmas Carol Service on the 13th December 2018 at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre. We have actors practising and our choir rehearsing, not to mention our Pupil Chaplains who are taking a lead in all of this.  Please come along and join for this very special occasion - we would love to have you there.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs C Lutman

Chaplaincy Coordinator