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Our schools’ response to the war in Ukraine

Our schools’ response to the war in Ukraine

The Board of Education (Republic of Ireland), in an article in its pre–Christmas newsletter to schools recalls that, compared to this time last year, a near–normal routine of school life has returned, much to the joy of children, parents and teachers: “We thank God that life has returned to relative ‘normality’. It is great that we can again enjoy singing together our much loved Christmas carols and hymns.”

However, it also notes how unforeseen challenges have arisen, not least the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and how the words of the carol ‘It came upon a midnight clear’ particularly resonate:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife,
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel–strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And warring humankind hears not
The words of peace they bring;
O hush the noise of human strife,
To hear the angels sing.

The article, in its own words, tells the story of our response in Ireland:

“The current war in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the people of that country and being displaced as a refugee is even more difficult at Christmas time. Our schools have responded to the arrival of refugees from Ukraine by opening their doors, and we see this response every day in schools and classrooms.

“In a very real sense, the response of our schools (and Church communities) to Ukrainians fleeing their war torn country, is symptomatic of our instinctive response to the angels’ chorus of: ‘Glory to God in the highest; and on earth, peace, good will towards all mankind’.  We can only pray that ‘the noise of human strife’ is hushed in the year ahead.”

A very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2023.

The Board of Education (Republic of Ireland) represents the Church of Ireland in all educational matters applying to the State, including as an education partner with the Department of Education and Skills and other educational bodies.  It also supports religious education in primary schools under Protestant management and provides support, training and advice to primary level patrons and boards of management.

Dr Ken Fennelly

Secretary, Board of Education (RI)
Church of Ireland House
Church Avenue
Dublin 6
D06 CF67
+353 (0)1 4125 609


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