CHRISTMAS came early for a talented youngster when his design was chosen for an official festive card.
The Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Rev Mark Bryant, went along to the newly-opened Northern Saints CofE Primary School, in Sunderland, to announce pupil Ben Newton, 10, as the winner of his annual Christmas card design competition.
Northern Saints opened in September to replace Hylton Red House Primary and Bishop Harland CofE Primary and this year it was the turn of the pupils to design the Bishop’s official Christmas card.
The inspiration for the designs was the recent visit to Durham City of the Lindisfarne Gospels and Ben’s design proved the winner.
Now, the card will be send out by Bishop Mark to more than 300 people and will also be the official Christmas card of the Bishop of Durham’s office, where the Right Reverend Paul Butler will be installed as bishop next year.
Bishop Mark said: “A different school is asked to run the competition each year, which shows our commitment to the schools in our diocese. It’s one of those things that really sparks the imagination of the students involved and we get some wonderfully creative ideas being submitted.
“This year the students of Northern Saints did a fantastic job making the job of choosing the winner quite difficult.”
Ben said: “I was speechless when I heard I had won. I like the design.”
The Diocese of Durham, through its Board of Education, provided new blazers for each child, and help with other items of uniform, for the opening of the new school.
Bishop Mark said: “It was wonderful to visit the school. The pupils are really excited about the new blazers and I am thrilled that we have been able to provide the school with new uniform. The pupils are proud of their uniform and it gives the school a fine start.”
Deputy Headteacher, Emma Jarvis, said: “It is a very exciting time for the new school and the Christmas card competition was a really nice start to the year.
“The new uniforms have allowed the pupils to feel part of a new community very quickly. The school has given the community a new outlook full of hope and aspirations.”