The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College welcomed Bishop Robert Byrne C.O. to bless their new school building.

The large Catholic secondary school and sixth form college in Hartlepool was a successful applicant in the second phase of the Government’s Priority Building Schools Programme and moved into their new three-floor facility in September.

Surrounded by many students, Bishop Robert blessed the entrance hall quoting the scripture which is embedded in the foundations: “Let yourselves be built together into a spiritual house where God may reside and where all may find a place.” He read before sprinkling with Holy water.

Following the blessing of the school, the Bishop, along with the parish Priests of Hartlepool, celebrated the very first mass in the new surroundings with Year 7 students and staff.

The service, held on the feast of St Therese of Lisieux, allowed Bishop Robert to remind us of her ‘Little Way’ and encouraged us to follow her example, especially in hardships.

“Our faith is precious, and even though science will try to disprove God, our faith is something to be cherished which can never be taken away.” He explained to the listening congregation in his Homily.

Anne-Marie McKenna, School Chaplain said: “The visit was an incredibly joyful experience for the whole school and we are grateful that we could welcome Bishop Robert to join us.”

“Year 7 were in fine voice and sang their hearts out throughout the Mass and I’m so proud of them all.”

Stephen Hammond, Head teacher expressed his thanks for the visit saying: “I am extremely grateful to Bishop Robert for blessing our new school building.”

He continued: “It has been a big change for everyone, however, we are the same school, with the same values, just in a nicer environment for our students to learn and thrive in.”

“I look forward to seeing what the future brings.”