The Diocese of Derry and Raphoe was well represented at the 2023 Donegal Schools’ Service in Ramelton Presbyterian Church on Tuesday 26th September. Hundreds of pupils from 29 schools throughout Donegal made their way to the church which has established itself as the home of the annual service.

Clergy from a number of Raphoe parishes were in attendance, along with Des West from the Raphoe Diocesan Board of Education, and the Diocesan Children’s and Youth Ministry Officers, Kirsty McCartney and Claire Hinchliffe.

The theme for this year’s service was ‘Connection’ and clergy from the different Protestant denominations in the county were welcomed by the Minister of Ramelton and Kilmacrennan, Rev Richard Tregaskis.

There was loud and energetic hymn-singing throughout the service. The address was delivered in three parts by the Rev John Montgomery from Donegal Methodist Church and the Moderator of the Derry and Donegal Presbytery, Rev Gordy McCracken. With readings from Luke’s Gospel telling the Parable of the Lost Son, they talked to their young congregation about the importance of ‘connection’ with God, reminding them that even when they became ‘disconnected’, God was happy to see them ‘reconnect’ with Him.

Bishop Andrew made the Call to Worship at the outset of the service and later led the congregation in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

There was significant involvement by the young people, with representatives of each of the schools reading prayers during the service.

As usual, as the children filed out of the church at the end of the service, the took with them ‘goody bags’ for each of their schools.