Members of the Richard Challoner School community enjoyed a highly emotive Mass at St George’s Cathedral in Southwark last week as part of the school’s tradition to mark the birthday of the school’s founder, Bishop Richard Challoner. This year also marks the 300th anniversary of Bishop Challoner’s ordination to the Priesthood.
Over 1,300 students, staff and families, travelled to London to participate in the annual celebratory Mass, which was enhanced with powerful music performed by students and staff including Vivaldi’s Gloria, Will Todd’s moving anthem The Call of Wisdom and concluded with the students’ hallmark hymn ‘Non Nobis Domine’ by Roger Quilter.
The school’s Director of Music, Mr Bridges, commented: “As a school with a rich musical heritage, there are always extremely high expectations of our musicians, and in this case our choir, but once more they have been exceeded; the choir created a beautiful, moving and powerful scene, one fitting for such a momentous occasion in our academic year”. The Mass’s Principal Celebrant was Fr Peter Gallagher SJ, assisted by Fr Kevan Hayden of St Matthias Church in Worcester Park, who celebrates weekly Mass in the school’s Chapel.
The unique event was organised with meticulous attention to detail at every stage, ensuring that all students, irrespective of any additional difficulties they may have, were adequately supported by high levels of staff in their journey.
Reflecting on the special event, Mr D’Aguiar, the school’s Head of Spirituality, said: “We received very positive feedback from those who attended, all of whom commented on the exceptional behaviour of our students throughout the event. We are extremely proud of our school community, and commemorating the birthday of our Founder is a fitting way to start our new year”.