On 14 July, pupils from the Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools gathered for an outdoor Mass of Thanksgiving at the end of the school year and for the leadership of outgoing Executive Headteacher Nicholas Soar. The special guests were the Sisters of Mercy, who first founded the girls’ school, many of whom had taught at the school.
Bishop Nicholas was the principal celebrant of the Mass, alongside parish priests from Tower Hamlets deanery, including Fr Michael Dunne and Co-ordinator of School Chaplains, Fr David Reilly. A joint band and choir from the girls’ and boys’ school led the music,
After Mass, representatives from staff and students, along with clergy and special guests attended a short service of blessing for the school’s new chapel, the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy, dedicated to the Sisters of Mercy. This chapel is an important part of reaffirming the Catholic faith which is at the heart of life at Bishop Challoner Schools.
After the blessing of the chapel, staff, governors and other guests gathered for a final toast to Nicholas Soar who has been Headteacher of Challoner Girls’ since 2010 and Executive Headteacher of both schools for the past year, but now leaves for pastures new. In his farewell speech, Bishop Nicholas described him as ‘always motivated by his discipleship of Christ’, and thanked him for his extraordinary ‘leadership in service’ to Bishop Challoner Schools
You can read Bishop Nicholas' homily here.