A leading North East catholic education trust has organised a school-wide virtual choir, bringing together thousands of schoolchildren this Christmas.

Singing the famous carol Angels We Have Heard On High, which was penned by Bishop Chadwick in 1862, around 2,000 children from 12 schools across Durham, South Tyneside and Sunderland were involved.

Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust has also created a music video for the carol to demonstrate what Christmas means to North East children and how the power of hope and togetherness can help schools and their communities get through a time of great adversity.

Brendan Tapping, CEO, Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, said: “In what is a truly unique and challenging time for education, we wanted to bring together our schools and show the importance of togetherness, fortitude, and community, especially at Christmas.

“These values, as well as the ethos of Christianity, unite us all during times where we must remain resilient to provide positive, engaged learning.

“The carol has a specifically important meaning coming from Bishop Chadwick himself. The children worked incredibly hard and each played an important role in creating the song which sounds wonderful.

“Thank you to everyone including our teachers, our families and of course Mike for their work in bringing together the choir which, with thousands of children across different locations, was no mean feat.”

Local musician and singer Mike Mcgrother worked closely with the schools to put the choir together by visiting each school individually and recording their rendition of the carol in a Covid-safe and socially distant way.

The virtual choir activity is part of a wider longer-term project the trust has launched. Journeys of Hope aims to demonstrate how young people and their families can adapt to the current situation facing schools and continue to feel inspired and engaged with learning.

This is the first key element of the project, with more large-scale activities expected throughout next year’s school term.

Mike Mcgrother said: “It really is a tough time for everyone at the moment, so we wanted to do something to not just raise spirits but show how important strong communities are in overcoming adversity.

“The children worked so hard in learning the lyrics and hitting the right notes – they did a cracking job and it was great to visually depict what Christmas means to each child too, either at home or at school.”

For more information about the trust’s Journeys of Hope project, please visit: http://bccet.org.uk/about-us/journeys-of-hope/