Mary with Barbara Reilly-O
Mary with Barbara Reilly-O'Donnell and Tom Hunt in the Prayer Garden at St Thomas More Belmont

On Friday, Mary joined members of staff, school governors, parents, and pupils for the unveiling of the new prayer garden on the school grounds named after former Interim Headteacher Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell.

Mary worked closely with the diocese, parents, and Mrs Reilly-O’Donnell after the school was faced with closure in September 2020. Having worked with Mary and parents to save the school, Mrs Reilly-O’Donnell has been celebrated by St Thomas More Primary with the new prayer garden being named in her honour.

Mary attended the liturgy in honour of Barbara where children from every class participated with songs, poetry, and artwork.

Mrs Reilly-O’Donnell later formally opened the prayer garden by cutting the ribbons and leading those in attendance out into the garden to take in the surroundings. The garden will serve as a space for the pupils and staff to use for reflection and quiet time. As we move away from times of lockdown, it has never been more important for young people to have spaces where they can have time of quiet reflection to help with their wellbeing.

Mary paid tribute to Mrs Reilly-O’Donnell saying

When we were working together to save St Thomas More from closure, it was evident just how much Barbara cared for the young people and the community. It was wonderful to be present as Barbara was honoured by St Thomas More Primary by having their new prayer garden named after her. I hope that the young people are able to relax in the Reilly-O’Donnell Prayer Garden.

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