Eleven schools came along to the two services, which included live music, readings by pupils, and a special school performance of a musical modern classic!

On Thursday 4th July 350 pupils and seventy staff from eleven schools came along to Bradford Cathedral to celebrate the end of their time in Year Six and to look forward to their transition to secondary school.

Schools had the choice of attending a morning or afternoon leavers’ service, and were then welcomed into the building, which had been decked out with lighthouse bunting, created by the pupils of the schools, who had each decorated a lighthouse and created a prayer or a thought for the future.

Music at the services was provided by the Zephaniah Trust, with members of the Bradford Cathedral Music Team welcoming schools in with a selection of familiar movie songs, and accompanying an enthusiastic singing of the classic hymn Shine Jesus Shine.

As well as these, there were Bible readings by pupils from St. Oswald’s C of E Primary School and Low Moor C of E Primary School; and prayers from students of Shipley C of E Primary School and Bradford Academy, who also performed an enthusiastic version of Rend Collective’s My Lighthouse up on the stage.

Another highlight of the day was the closing of the morning service with an energetic rendition of When I Grow Up from the recent Matilda musical, performed by the pupils of Wycliffe C of E Primary School.

The Revd Canon Ned Lunn, Canon for Intercultural Mission and the Arts, led the schools in prayers and a blessing, and also gave his own reflection on the theme of light.

Maggie Myers, Bradford Cathedral’s Director of Education and Visitors. says:
“It was wonderful to welcome so many of our C of E schools to our annual Year Six Leavers’ Service.

“The pupils excelled themselves with their singing and we appreciated all of their contributions – the lighthouses, the readers, the prayers and the songs. What a celebration of our Year Six pupils and their time in primary school!

“We wish all of you a restful summer and a happy transition to secondary school!”

The Revd Canon Ned Lunn says:
“Our education work engages with thousands of young people and children each year, welcoming them into their cathedral. The Leavers’ Service is a great way to end each academic year as we encourage our primary school children to give thanks for their primary school experience and prepare to enter into secondary education. Our ethos at Bradford Cathedral is to encourage young people to participate and lead and we were delighted to see so many pupils getting up sharing in the shape and content of this service.

“We are looking forward to being even bigger next year as we celebrate Bradford being the UK City of Culture. We will be developing next year’s leavers to be more involved and to give them the confidence needed to thrive in the future. If your child is entering into Year Six in Bradford in September, then ask the school if they will be taking part!”

Feedback from the schools was also very positive. “Year Six had a great afternoon joining with Year Six’s from across Bradford to celebrate their primary journey,” said Shipley C of E Primary School on X, (formerly Twitter) and the pupils of Burley and Woodhead C of E primary school shared a photo of themselves in the Cathedral Close saying ‘Looking forward to our Leavers’ service at Bradford Cathedral’.


If you’d like to find out how you can take part in next year’s Leavers’ Services (Thursday 3rd July 2025) please e-mail education@bradfordcathedral.org

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