St Mungo & St Enoch visit Mungo’s Bairns

It’s January again so it is time to celebrate St Mungo in Glasgow. The St Mungo Festival grows year on year, and one of the most joyful events is Mungo’s Bairns held in Wellington Church, when B.Ed student teachers and the children they are working with come together to sing. This year there were 10 participating schools* taking part.

As ever, the schools show clearly the diversity of the children of St Mungo today and it is good to see them all coming together. We were particularly pleased that this year for the first time, students from an additional learning needs school took part and were given a great welcome.

The event is organised by Glasgow Churches Together and the B.Ed Music Department of Glasgow University, and Archbishop Tartaglia and Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery Rev. Dan Carmichael were present to enjoy the enthusiasm of the participants. The children were clearly excited about performing in public before the other schools and to hear their hard work applauded.

After the usual frights e.g.two minutes to go and one school missing (their bus was late!), Liz Bovill began by introducing our special guests who would preside over the celebration: St Mungo and his mother St Enoch who told the children a little of their story. Then it was over to the children to sing the songs they had been preparing for many weeks.

St Denis’ with the Great Glasgow Budgie

The songs ranged from traditional folk songs such as Kelvingrove to more modern Scottish songs including Bonnie Wee Jeanie McCall, The Red YoYo and Caledonia. There were also songs with a Glasgow theme, either as originally written or as cleverly adapted by the student teachers: Children of the City of St Mungo; The Big Glasgow Budgie; Lean on me; Glasgow is my home (to the alternative tune for Auld Lang Syne!);There’s no place like home (Glasgow) ( to the better known Auld Lang Syne tune); Touch the Sky and I’m Going Home to Glasgow.

There was also a great singalong, led by the students, who were great, to give everyone the chance to sing together (including the adults) classics such as Ye canny shove yer granny aff a bus and Three Craws, all with actions of course.

The event finished with a procession of school representatives, led by St Mungo and St Enoch and some monks, to present to the Moderator donations for Wellington Parish Church. It is probably the first time most of us have seen a big green budgie going up to hand over a donation but no-one blinked.

Finally Archbishop Tartaglia gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the guests. He told the children he had been born and bred in Glasgow and had always loved his native city. He was very proud to be its Archbishop – and he turned and gave a bow of respect to his predecessor St Mungo sitting behind him on the sanctuary, much to the enjoyment of the children.

He had them laughing as he told them how as a young boy he had thought that St Enoch was a man. They should remember when they went shopping in the St Enoch Centre that it was named after St Mungo’s mother. He thanked everyone who had taken part or made the day possible. Finally he said that they should always be proud of their city of Glasgow and of being Glaswegians (never “Weegies”!).

*Participating Schools:

St Denis Primary, Cleeves Primary, St Catherine’s Primary, Langside Primary, Knightswood Primary, Croftfoot Primary, Our Lady of Peace Primary, Broomhill Primary, Pollokshields Primary and St Oswald’s ALN Secondary