North East Connected

Children celebrate Commonwealth in city centre parade

Hundreds of schoolchildren from County Durham and beyond came together today to celebrate the Commonwealth with a colourful procession through the centre of Durham City.

Around 1,400 young people took part in a parade from Millennium Place to Durham Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving led by the Bishop of Durham.

The event, organised by Durham County Council, follows the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which took place in London last week.

Pupils from 34 primary and secondary schools in the county were joined by youngsters from Hartlepool, Stockton and Darlington for the procession, which was accompanied by steel pan and Indian dohl drummers.

The procession was headed up by standard bearers from St Leonard’s Sixth Form and Durham University carrying the flags of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “Everyone who took part in the parade and service had a fantastic day.

“The Commonwealth is very much about working together and respecting other people so it was great to see children from across the region doing just that.”

In the run-up to the event, the council’s international relations team has been working with schools to encourage them to learn about different Commonwealth countries and their relationship with the UK.

Some of the children were given the chance to show what they had learnt when they were invited to perform during the cathedral service. The event also included prayers, readings and a performance by County Durham Youth Choir.

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