Bishop leads school celebrations

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THE Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle was in Alnwick this week to lead the celebrations to officially launch two new schools.

The Right Reverend Seamus Cunningham joined pupils, teachers, local clergy, architects and construction company workers at St Paul’s RCVA First School and St Paul’s RCVA Middle School (previously St John’s RC First and Thomas Percy RC Middle at their new home on the former St Oswald’s site in Alnwick.

A £2.5million refurbishment has transformed the buildings into the state-of-the-art schools.

After a short tour of the building, Bishop Seamus led a celebratory Mass before blessing a statue of St Paul and unveiling a commemorative plaque.

He said: “This is a marvellous place, a wonderful symbol of many great qualities – generosity, leadership and co-operation. Firstly, the gift from the Sisters of Mercy, without their generosity none of this would have begun.

“Secondly, the innovation and foresight of both schools’ leadership teams has been transformational. Their ability to work together, merging their activities in order to provide immeasurable benefit and continuity for the youngsters of the area is quite remarkable.

“And thirdly, the skills of those who have created, interpreted and constructed such a wonderful and inspiring environment; all are to be applauded for their efforts in coming together for the benefit of the wider community.”