Staff, children and parents were joined by Cardinal-designate Vincent for the official opening and blessing of Holy Family Primary School in West Acton on 12 February. The result of a project that begun in 2008 under Cardinal Cormac, the school took in its first class in September 2012 but had to use the Parish Hall of Holy Family Church for lessons before moving to its new purpose built building in September 2013. It is the first Catholic primary school to be built in the Diocese for over forty years and despite still being in its infancy, achieved an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report in January 2014.
The Mass was led by the Cardinal-designate and local clergy from Acton, with music from the local St Raphael’s School choir, who celebrated their 50th anniversary with Cardinal Vincent in October last year. The students of Holy Family, despite being aged between 4 and 6 years, all took part in the liturgy in reading, responses and prayers which is a testament to their teachers’ instruction in the faith.
Using pictures of the Holy Family drawn by the young children, Cardinal-designate Vincent spoke in his homily about how to be in a loving family and encouraged the children to be a holy family today in their new school and to make it their home and not just a place for learning.
At present, the school only has five classes and a nursery and so the new building remains largely unused. It is however a beautiful modern construction, with classrooms coming off of a large atrium running through the middle of the school. All the classrooms are fitted with modern facilities including the latest interactive whiteboards and computers. Cardinal Vincent and the visiting dignitaries were all impressed by the building and commented on how it is a triumph for Catholic education in the area.