THE funeral of Newport head teacher Sue Jenkins took place in Cardiff this morning with pupils from the school she loved at the forefront of the service.
Around 600 people packed St Peter’s Church to pay final tributes to Miss Jenkins, of St Joseph’s RC High School, who tragically lost her battle with cancer earlier this month.
Friends and family, dozens of the school’s pupils, and the newly elected Mayor of Newport Matthew Evans, were among those at the Requiem Mass.
The school choir welcomed the coffin of Miss Jenkins, which was adorned with white lilies, with the song A Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter.
A poignant and tearful farewell was then given by the school’s head student, Bethan Phillips, who said “all aspects of the school are mirrored in her”.
Further tributes were paid to Miss Jenkins by the school’s acting head teacher, Trevor Brown, and group director for school standards and workforce at the Welsh Government, Dr Brett Pugh, who had worked closely with Miss Jenkins for several years.
Readings and psalms were then read out by the deputy head teacher, Jackie Jarrett, head student George Mainstone, and other students. Among the hymns sung were Gifts of Bread and Wine and Only a Shadow.
St Joseph’s High School Choir then sung May the Lord Bless You and Keep You as Miss Jenkins’ coffin was led out. Scores of people then made their way to committal at Thornhill Crematorium before a reception at Cardiff Golf Club.
A message on behalf of Miss Jenkins’ family by Tim Jenkins on the order of service read: “We are deeply touched by the kindness and compassion you have shown at the very sad loss of our daughter, sister, aunt and partner to Jack.
“Perhaps even Sue would temporarily cast modesty aside and be equally overwhelmed by the spirit shown by members of her school, church and her friends, who have worked so tirelessly to make today a tribute she so deserves.
“As Sue often reminded me, this life is not a rehearsal. ‘You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.’ I know what Sue would want you to do.”