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The end of June saw a week of celebration at Holy Family in Patchway, as the school marked its fiftieth year with a series of spectacular birthday events. Everyone agreed that the highlight was our Thursday morning 50th Anniversary Celebration Mass, led by Bishop Declan himself.

The Bishop arrived early for a tour of the school and was allowed a sneaky peak at the anniversary mosaics which were unveiled later that day. Parents, staff and pupils (both past and present) were invited to join the Mass and many people returned to school to reunite with old work colleagues and classmates.

The Mass itself was a true celebration. The Bishop was assisted by our Parish Priest, Father Eugene, and the students in Year 6. The pupils at Holy Family were spell-bound by The Bishop’s homily: they were truly entranced – hanging off of his every word. The hall rang out with the beautiful singing of the congregation – a fitting tribute to our wonderful school community, past and present. The Mass ended with Year 6 pupil Valerie presenting Bishop Declan with a memorial plate to remember his visit.

Following the Mass, both Bishop Declan and our other visitors joined us for refreshments, and to view old photographs and documents, in our Memory Café. The walls were covered with pictures donated by members of the parish. A group of the first pupils from 1968 returned and had lots fun finding themselves in the first class photographs and reading the original school log book. It was fabulous start to our anniversary celebrations and we were very grateful to Bishop Declan and the Clifton Diocese for sharing it with us.

Caroline Carter.