School marks 50 years

St Patrick's School in Birstall celebrating 50 years on the same site with mass led by Bishop Marcus of Leeds.
St Patrick's School in Birstall celebrating 50 years on the same site with mass led by Bishop Marcus of Leeds.
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Celebrations marking the Golden Jubilee of a Birstall school have started with a Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Leeds.

St Patrick‛s Catholic Primary has educated pupils on its present site in Nova Lane since November 2 1965, and Bishop Marcus Stock was invited to commemorate the event by headteacher Anthony Rush.

As well as staff and pupils, former staff including Sister Gemma Dobbins who retired from her position as headteacher in 2003 after 43 years‛ service to the school, governors and present parish priest Father David Bulmer were in attendance.

They heard the bishop speak about his time at school and how singing, something he praised the children for, enabled him to become a more confident person. He added how it was possible for everyone to achieve as long as they worked hard and persevered.

Following Mass, Bishop Marcus talked to some of the school‛s 258 pupils including those whose parents and grandparents had attended the school either at Nova Lane or its former premises in Low Lane.

Mr Rush said that although the school was 138 years old in all, it was important to mark the last 50.

“This building opened its doors in November 1965 and we are in the process of organising events to recognise this,” he said.

“We felt that it was fitting to start this with a Mass for and by today‛s school children and we were honoured that Bishop Marcus was able to celebrate this.”

He added: “For some years children were educated on both sites but we are hoping that the first pupils to walk through these doors will be able to join us at some point. 
“They‛ll certainly see some changes as there have been a number of extensions, most recently two years ago when a new reception area and rooms for small groups of children to work in were built.”

As well as the Mass, every child has planted a daffodil bulb in the school grounds and it is hoped that they will design a permanent feature to be displayed inside the school‛s entrance.

For former pupils, days are being organised so they can tour the school and remember the days they spent there with friends with details to be publicised at a later date.