Bishop and children celebrate Chloe’s ark

A Norfolk girl accompanied the Bishop of Norwich back to her old school in her home village this week to admire a mural made possible by her artistic talent.

Animals are now marching two by two into Noah's Ark, across a wall of Hickling Infants School hall, thanks to Chloe McCullough.

Chloe, 11, who now attends Stalham High School, won �100 for herself and �500 for her school when she won an inaugural competition in 2006 to design a Christmas card for the Bishop, held throughout the county's church schools.

Head teacher Peter Wallis decided to wait until building work had been finished at the school before using the cash to commission the mural which was designed and painted by Bridget Parsons, a former teacher assistant at Hickling who now runs an art club there.

The Bishop, Chloe and Mrs Parsons joined the school's 28 pupils for an assembly during which he blessed the mural.

Chloe's winning card showed a beaming Mary and Joseph with a grinning baby Jesus and it was their smiles which won the Bishop's vote, leading to 1,000 cards being printed and sent to all those on his official Christmas list, including members of the Royal Family.

Chloe spent �40 of her own contest winnings on art materials but says her mum is looking after the remaining �60 for her.

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Artist Mrs Parsons won an EDP readers' competition in 2008 to design an elephant for the Norwich Go Elephant exhibition and her beast, on display at Riverside and painted with Broads scenes, was sold for �7,500 - the third highest amount realised during the post-exhibition charity auction.