It was a joy and a privilege to take part in the 60th anniversary celebrations at St Edward’s School. The service was a fitting tribute to the past, and present and hope-filled future. It was good to see the school in good heart and flourishing. May God continue to bless its staff and students.
The Rt Rev Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne
In 1963, St Edward’s School opened its doors for the first time to an initial cohort of 270 students. Sixty years later, on Friday 8th September 2023, staff, students, and guests from the school’s past and present came together as one to celebrate this historic milestone. The ceremony celebrated our roots, the journey we’ve taken, and looked ahead to what we hope to achieve, with our school motto “May We Be One” informing all that we do.
St Edward’s originally opened as a Roman Catholic school, before the Dioceses of Plymouth and Salisbury began their collaboration in 1991, resulting in St Edward’s becoming the unique school it is today. Since then, we’ve embraced the ethos inscribed in our Covenant Prayer: “To do nothing apart which we can do together.”
The day was a celebration of the people and the efforts that have gone into the last six decades of St Edward’s. Notable attendees included The Rt Rev Stephen Lake, Bishop of Salisbury – visiting the school for the first time – and The Rt Rev Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne. We were thrilled to have so many former staff, governors and students joining us, including former Headteachers. Rev Canon Mark O’Keeffe, representing the Diocese of Plymouth was also in attendance and spoke during the ceremony. Following the festivities, he said:
A Jubilee Year is always a significant milestone and a time of celebration. It was a privilege to be part of the special day which marked the anniversary. The mission-phrase: “Unity – Achievement – Faith” has been lived out and continues to be a light to those who are pupils past and present. As I reflect upon the service of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the time I spent with you and other faith leaders.
Rev Canon Mark O’Keeffe
The ceremony began with the St Edward’s School Choir singing Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck, which was also performed at the opening of the school 60 years ago. Interspersed with memories from former Headteacher Mr Alan Murphy, former Head of Maths Mrs Bernadette Cherowbrier, and former teacher – now Reverend – Rev Jeff Adams, students presented important items from the school’s past. Some of these included the minutes from the first governing body, a hand-crafted Spirt of St Edward trophy, and a newly commissioned School Icon of St Edward the Martyr.
Executive Headteacher Mr Michael Antram shared his thoughts on the day:
In this place where over 1,000 students gather each day, stories are shared, and lives are changed. It was an honour to have with us so many people who have nurtured the unique ethos and culture of St Edward’s that today’s students enjoy. On behalf of our school community, I thank them, and we now look forward to the next chapter of success in the work of St Edward’s school.