Diocesan press releases

Atmospheric nativity painting wins the Bishop of St Asaph’s Christmas Card Competition

A ten year old girl from a church school in Hawarden has won the Bishop of St Asaph’s annual Christmas card competition.

Sinead OMahoney with her winning design croppedSinead O’Mahoney (left) from Hawarden Village VA School thrilled the judges with her atmospheric painting of the manger looked over by Mary and Joseph.

Her design was one of more than 1,000 entries from Church Schools across the Diocese of St Asaph and will be turned into a Christmas card which will be sent to the Bishop’s friends and colleagues around the world.

For the first time this year, a second winner was selected from the same school.  Imogen Reid’s colourful pencil drawing of St Asaph Cathedral will be made into a Christmas Card for use by the Cathedral.

first and second prize winnersBoth Sinead and Imogen were presented with their prizes by the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron during a school assembly this morning (8 December).  They were joined by the second prize winner, Lucy Ford from St Mary’s VA School in Ruabon.

Explaining how they came up with the design, Sinead said: “We were encouraged to research Christmas themes and ideas so I looked through my Grandma’s old Christmas cards and found the inspiration for this design.”

Imogen added: “I found an image of St Asaph Cathedral on the internet and used that to create my design.”

Every year Bishop Gregory encourages pupils attending Church schools to submit designs for his Christmas card.  He said: “The judges have had a tough job looking through over 1,000 entries this year; all of them have been of an excellent standard.St Nicholas arriving It’s been fascinating to see the children’s interpretation of what Christmas means to them and I’m particularly pleased so many of the talented youngsters we have in our church schools have sent in some fantastic Nativity scenes.”

During the prize giving assembly, Bishop Gregory introduced the children to St Nicholas who explained why he is the real inspiration for Father Christmas.  St Nicholas was a 4th century saint, who had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the stockings of those in need.

The Diocese of St Asaph looks after 51 schools, including one shared faith secondary school.  Church Schools are totally inclusive in nature, welcoming children from families of all faiths and none.  They are committed to celebrating the rich heritage of faith, language and culture in Wales.

The full list of those awarded prizes is:

  • First prize: Sinead O’Mahoney from Hawarden Village VA School
  • Second prize: Lucy Ford (aged 10 years) of St Mary’s School, Ruabon
  • Joint third prize: Reception Class pupil Leighton Bagnall at St Paul Is y Coed School, near Wrexham and Kelseyleigh Evans of Gungrog School, in Welshpool
  • An additional prize has been awarded to Imogen Reid from Hawarden Village VA School for her depiction of St Asaph Cathedral.

All the prize winners were presented with book tokens and certificates. Certificates were handed out to the Hawarden children whose work gained either Very Highly Commended or Highly Commended status.

The Diocese of St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, an independent Province within the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches.  The diocese is a community of 229 churches covering the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and parts of Gwynedd and Powys.