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Bringing the Birth of Christ to life

MISSIO Scotland’s inaugural Christmas Artwork Competition saw Catholic primary schoolchildren from throughout Scotland help to bring the story of the Birth of Jesus to life in a most colourful manner.

The popular contest encouraged pupils from across Scotland’s dioceses to submit their artistic depictions of people and events associated with Christmas such as: The Nativity; the Magi; the shepherds; Mary with the Baby Jesus; the Holy Family; the new-born Jesus in the manger; and the Angel Gabriel. And the response to this first Christmas Artwork Competition was something that took everyone in the Missio Scotland Office by surprise, both in terms of the volume of entries and the standard of the artwork.

“The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ is often called the ‘greatest story ever told’ and one of the many ways in which this story has been told is through art, with many of the world’s great painters having lent their talents to try and capture this significant event,” Gerard Gough, Missio Scotland’s Communications Officer, said. “Now, thanks some of the fantastic artists from within our Catholic school communities have helped to bring that story to life once again. Those who were chosen as our first winners are clearly a very talented bunch with a great eye for detail and telling a story through their art.”

In the Archdiocese of Glasgow, Primary 7 pupil Lucy Dolan, from St Patrick's Primary School in Dumbarton, impressed the Missio Scotland staff with her drawing of the Holy Family with the term ‘Joy to the World,’ translated into Gaelic. In the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Anna Curran, a Primary 5 pupil from St Andrew’s Primary School in Falkirk, provided us with a beautifully vibrant depiction of Our Lady and the Child Jesus. Primary 1 pupil Emily Lally of Corpus Christi Primary School in Calderbank, was the Motherwell Diocesan winner for her Angel Gabriel artwork, which cleverly used handprints as wings! An excellent night-time Nativity scene by Primary 3/4 pupil Aleksandra Ligeza of St Mary’s Primary School in Paisley took the spoils in her diocese. In Galloway Diocese, Primary 2 pupil Isabella Bonsor, from St Patrick’s Primary in Troon, wowed our in-house judges with her stunning drawing of the Three Kings following the star. Similarly, it was a brilliant drawing of the Magi that saw Primary 6 pupil Chloe Geddes, from Our Lady’s Primary School in Perth take first prize for Dunkeld Diocese. Our winners were rounded off with a truly stunning drawing of the Holy Family by Julia Jasinska, a Primary 7 pupil at St Peter’s Primary School in Aberdeen, one of a number of excellent entries from her school and indeed the diocese. All the entries were featured on Missio Scotland’s Facebook and Twitter accounts prior to the Christmas break.

Some members of the Scottish Church hierarchy were also so impressed by the entries from their respective dioceses that they paid a visit to the winners. In Motherwell Diocese, Bishop Joseph Toal was on hand to congratulate Emily on her artwork shortly before Christmas (above), while at the beginning of January, Bishop John Keenan of Paisley popped into St Mary’s Primary School to offer similar congratulations to diocesan winner Aleksandra, who said she was ‘happy and amazed,’ when she heard that she had won. Bishop Keenan posed for a photograph with Aleksandra, her class teacher Claire Crumlish and her headteacher Lorna Murray (top).

As well as being showcased in their respective diocesan cathedrals over Christmas, the winning children’s entries will be used as the designs for this year’s Missio Scotland Christmas cards, which will be available for sale nearer the time via our online shop:

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