Catholic school celebrates 60 years and £3.5m opening
A full day of celebrations on Monday marked the 60th anniversary of St Martha’s Catholic primary school in King’s Lynn and the official opening of a new £3.5m extension which has enabled it to double in size from 210 to 420 places.
The major expansion at St Martha’s was funded through Norfolk County Council, the Diocese of East Anglia and central government.
It has provided the school with eight new classrooms, a sports hall, a new staff room and group rooms. It has also created a parent ‘drop-off’ area behind the church in order to improve congestion at peak times, and an enlarged staff car park. There is also a new 3G multi-use games area.
The day of celebrations, on September 25, began with a School Mass at nearby Holy Family Church celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes with pupils, staff, parishioners, parents and others with a connection to the school filling the church to overflowing.
A school choir led the singing and pupils participated in all elements of the Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Alan spoke about how the school, along with families and the church and Catholic faith, gives pupils the chance to build solid and sure foundations to their lives.
“All these things are shaping your lives, just as 60 years ago this school was shaped into being,” said Bishop Alan. “If you build your life on sure foundations you can be sure that you will be in the right place, doing the right thing because God will have brought you there with the best of foundations, who is Jesus Christ.”
The celebrations moved to the new school extension and after some songs from the school choir, Bishop Alan was joined by Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Carol Bower and senior officer of Norfolk County Council’s Children Services, Chris Hey, to cut a ribbon and pronounce the building open.
Inside the new school hall, headteacher, Aidan McGovern thanked all involved with the school over the last 60 years, including those who had made the extension possible. He also spoke about the school, its history and what it means to him today: “As staff, we continue to strive to be the best that we can be, so that our children, who we serve, can be the best that they can be.
“All of my four daughters came to this school and I feel a deep and profound sense of belonging to St Martha’s. I hope I will leave a legacy for those who come after me.”
Pauline McSherry, one of two original teachers at the school 60 years ago, helped Aidan to cut an anniversary cake.
The day’s celebrations continued with a display of dancing through the decades from all the school’s pupils, followed by an international food festival staged by parents, stalls and games, rock climbing, a giant slide and other activities well into the evening.
To see a full picture gallery of the day, see below or click here.