WATCH: Children feel a bit sheepish as they create a colourful flock

(Back, l-r) Nurses Linda Page and Laura Cleverley and doctors Becca Allan and Anne Hounsell, with (front, l-r) chaplain Carol Gully, doctor Katie Jerram and nurse Mellissa Bell             Picture: Vernon Nash

Doctor Katie and colleagues brave the waves to raise money for Rowans Hospice

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CHILDREN across Portsmouth have been getting their hands covered in paint, glue and cotton wool - as they set about painting sheep.

The initiative has been set up by Portsmouth and Winchester Diocese, which has seen more than 60 schools come together to show off their love of nature - as well as giving thanks for their experiences during primary school.

Dominika Gumiela, aged 11, from Oakfield C of E Primary School in Ryde outside Portsmouth Cathedral with the sheep Picture: Peter Langdown

Dominika Gumiela, aged 11, from Oakfield C of E Primary School in Ryde outside Portsmouth Cathedral with the sheep Picture: Peter Langdown

In a culmination of their work, the children - and their sheep - gathered at Portsmouth Cathedral.

All of the sheep are part of the Ewe Matter project; the sheep, which have all been decorated by the schoolchildren, will go on to be used by churchgoers and schools in assemblies, as well as science, English and Religious Studies lessons.

Neil Pugmire from Portsmouth Diocese said: ‘This whole project started about a year ago, then in January we sent out these fibreglass sheep to every Church of England school in Portsmouth and Winchester Diocese.

‘They were given the chance to decorate these sheep in the style that was appropriate to their school’s ethos or identity. They chose to do it in all sorts of different ways, which is brilliant to see.’

Neil added that he was pleased to see so many children come together for one purpose.

He said: ‘This is the third of three services at Portsmouth Cathedral. The school’s have taken part in workshops throughout the morning, and this afternoon we are hosting a Year Six leaving service, as they prepare for life at secondary school.

‘Everyone here is from a Church of England school and here we all are, giving thanks to God for their time at primary school. It is brilliant to see so many children all gathered here today.

‘Over the course of the three days, we have had around 2,500 children, which just goes to show just how many children the Portsmouth and Winchester Diocese are able to work with.’