Sing to the heavens

IPSWICH: Children from primary schools across the town came together in song to record a number of different versions of the Lord’s Prayer - including one in Swahili.

More than 250 pupils from Dale Hall, The Willows, Ravenswood, Rushmere Hall, Sprites, Broke Hall, St Margaret’s, St Matthew’s and Springfield Junior met at Rushmere Hall Primary School, Lanark Road.

They sang ten versions of the Lord’s Prayer, including one specially composed by Andy Rayner of Wendy House Studios in Felixstowe, who also led the recording.

Helen Matter, schools’ advisor for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “The whole idea came out of a project from the Church of England to contribute to religious education in schools by giving them a bit more of an exciting way of looking at the Lord’s Prayer.

“We are hoping it will make a good resource for teaching in the future. We have chosen the Lord’s Prayer because it is a central text in Christianity.

“This gives us the possibility to provide really good resources for teachers which the children can get involved in as well, and it actually means there is a more positive response to it in class as well.”

The backing music was recorded over Easter and the children, aged seven to 11, have been learning the lyrics since then.

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They have even mastered the words to a Swahili version of the prayer called Baba Yethu, used in the soundtrack to Lion King 2.

Nine-year-old Laeticia Glymin, of Murray Road, is a pupil at St Matthew’s Primary School in Portman Road.

She said: “I feel quite happy when I’m singing and I like it because I get to do it with my friends.

“It’s not that often that people get to experience this and get to go and sing songs that are sent out to other schools.”

Her brother Daequan, ten, said: “It’s really good because you’ve got to mean what you’re singing and put some enthusiasm into it.

“It was fun to interact with the other schools as well.”

The songs will be put on a CD along with spoken versions of the prayer in German, Cantonese, Bengali, French, Russian, Thai and Polish, all recorded by families from around Ipswich.

The project is funded by Elizabeth Walter’s Charity, a local group which supports religious teaching in schools around the county.

Any profits from the sale of the CD nationally will go towards funding school projects in Kagera, Tanzania.

Sue Todd, headteacher of St Matthew’s, said: “It was a chance to work with other schools and the children were really keen to be part of it because they enjoy singing and worship, so it combines the two.

“They have enjoyed singing along with other children and the experience of being recorded.”

The CD will be pressed in August and a free copy sent to all primary schools in Ipswich in November.

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