A competition to design the Bishop of St German’s Christmas card attracted over 400 entries from schools across the Diocese of Truro.

Bishop Chris, Elliot and Sophie and their winning card designs

With all 44 church schools in the diocese invited to take part and entries ranging from snowmen to Father Christmas and nativity scenes, the competition was fierce.

With judging assistance from local artist Judi Trevorrow, Bishop Chris selected a card designed by Year 5 pupil Sophie from Grade Ruan School and her image of Mary holding the baby Jesus.

Bishop Chris said: “The number of entries was amazing and everyone who sent a design deserves praise for the care and effort they put into them. It was very hard to judge. I picked Sophie’s design not only for its relevant theme and good colours, but also the happy faces of Mary and Jesus really stood out for me.”

While the competition had initially been to find a design for Bishop Chris’ card, the quality and number of entries inspired the Education team to join in. Simon Cade, Director of Education and Discipleship at the diocese, said: “We were only planning on the one winner for the Bishop’s Christmas card but the standard of entries was so good that we couldn’t resist picking another design to use as our team Christmas card.”

The design picked by the Education team features three kings and was drawn by Year 4 pupil Elliott, who also attends Grade Ruan School.

As well as seeing their designs turned into the Christmas cards, both received a prize. Bishop Chris was on hand to personally present both pupils with a £25 book token each and Grade Ruan received a £100 prize as winning school.

Wendy Sherlock, Executive Headteacher at Grade Ruan School, said: ‘Our whole school community has been absolutely delighted to hear the exciting news about Sophie and Elliott’s successful designs. Both children were thrilled to see them turned into actual Christmas cards and are now busy making plans to spend their book vouchers! The school prize is very gratefully received and we will be using the money to help create a reflection area in our playground.’

The competition proved so popular that the Education team are planning on running it again next year. Deborah Stainer, Education Support Administrator, said: “We are thrilled with the number of entries and it’s been such a lovely thing to be part of.”