Sky Ballentyne had the honour of reading a prayer to a 2,200-strong congregation at St Paul's Cathedral

Sky Ballentyne had the honour of reading a prayer to a 2,200-strong congregation at St Paul's Cathedral

Sky Ballentyne had the honour of reading a prayer to a 2,200-strong congregation at St Paul's Cathedral

The Haberdashers' Monmouth School Choirs' sing at St Paul's Cathedral

The view of the Monmouth School 400th anniversary service from the Whispering Gallery at St Paul's Cathedral

The view from the Whispering Gallery at St Paul's Cathedral

First published in News

ELEVEN year old schoolgirl Sky Ballentyne had the honour of reading a prayer to a 2,200-strong congregation at St Paul's Cathedral as part of a school's 400th anniversary celebrations.

The Ross-on-Wye youngster came through the nerve wracking challenge of delivering the prayer underneath Christopher Wren's awesome dome to such a huge gathering with flying colours, reading the prayer with great confidence despite needing a step up to reach the lectern.

"It was amazing standing in front of so many people doing the reading," said Sky, a year six prep pupil at Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, who was part of last week's service of thanksgiving for the foundation of Monmouth School four centuries ago to the day.

"You don't realise how big the cathedral is until you are standing at the front of it. It was brilliant... a moment I will never forget."

Watched by a congregation that also included Haberdashers, governors, clergy, past pupils, parents and VIP guests, Sky said in her prayer: "We give thanks for those who lead the schools with vision and insight. For the governors, heads and teachers who by their wisdom and understanding help each generation in their search for truth and inspiration."

More than 1,500 pupils and staff headed across the Severn Bridge to London in a convoy of 32 coaches for a service of thanksgiving to mark Monmouth School's foundation by Wye Valley-born merchant William Jones in 1614, with a bequest left to the stewardship of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

For more details and pictures of the anniversary celebrations, go to www.habs-monmouth.org

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