Forest Gate boys read prayers during Migrant Mass at Westminster Cathedral

Year Seven student Jamie Halliwell and Year Eight pupil Hendrix Miayoukou outside Westminster Cathed

Year Seven student Jamie Halliwell and Year Eight pupil Hendrix Miayoukou outside Westminster Cathedral. - Credit: Archant

Two young students took part in a special mass at Westminster Cathedral on Monday to celebrate the contribution of migrants to London’s culture and economy.

Hendrix Miayoukou, a Year Eight pupil of Congolese origin at St Bonaventure’s RC School in Forest Gate, read prayers in French during the Migrant Mass with Year Seven pupil Jamie Halliwell, who recited in English, before taking part in a colourful parade of banners and costumes from all around the world.

Currently in its eighth year, the Mass is celebrated every May Day Bank Holiday but it started in east London with a “Strangers into Citizens” campaign by community organisation London Citizens.

Headteacher Paul Halliwell said: “I was really proud of the boys, it must have been daunting for them to speak on the altar of the huge cathedral in front of a huge congregation but they took it all in their stride.

“They read beautifully and I received lots of compliments from people afterward saying how well they’d done.


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“They were, by far, the youngest there and I am really glad they had the opportunity to be involved in such an important occasion as this.

“They represented St Bonaventure’s, young Catholics, and Newham wonderfully.”

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