The Bishop visited on March 20 and the parish welcomed children to celebrate Mass with him before returning to school. “Our team of altar servers excelled in serving at the Mass,” said Sue Blakeley, Headteacher at St Louis Catholic Academy. “They were introduced to some new duties, including holding the Bishop’s hat and crosier.
“Daniel Justin, our choir leader from the Cathedral of St John the Baptist where he is Master of Music, led our school choir who performed parts of a new Mass that he has composed. Parishioners and parents were excited to welcome Bishop Peter to Newmarket for the first time and to attend the Mass celebrated by the Bishop and supported by Fr Simon Blakesley, the school link governor from the Our Lady of Walsingham MAT Trust Board, and Deacon James Hurst.”
In 2021, Mr Bill Gredley, a local businessman kindly gifted the school £12,000 towards developing a teaching kitchen, intervention space and nurture facility. That was match funded by the Alive in Faith grant overseen by Bishop Emeritus Alan Hopes. The school PTA secured £1,000 from Tesco towards cooking equipment too and Governors agreed to make up the final cost to push the build over the line through use of some contingency funding.
The new space fitted in a former PE storage area will be used to teach Design and Technology. “We will host after school clubs for Young Carers and Pupil premium learners,” said Sue Blakeley, “provide opportunities for parents to cook alongside children and improve food preparation facilities for PTA fundraisers. As a healthy school, we are always looking to provide advice to families to make healthy choices and we hope that this will be a great place to educate in a supportive way. Our first classes start after Easter with Chatty Chefs, a nurture group that builds resilience and confidence.”
The school chaplains enjoyed a buffet lunch with Bishop Peter and found out about his move from Wales to East Anglia. After lunch, children took the special guest for a tour of the school where each class met and chatted with him. The school looks forward to welcoming Bishop Peter to St Louis in future years.
Pictured above is Bishop Peter with guests, teachers and children at St Louis academy.