General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, former Chief of the Defence Staff, was the guest speaker at the Great Academies prize-giving event at Stonyhurst College, the Jesuit school in Lancashire.
Lord Guthrie, a Catholic convert, is patron of the Cardinal Hume centre for homeless young people.
He is president of many charities, including the Army Benevolent Fund. In his address to pupils, parents and staff, Lord Guthrie said that he had a strong sense of Stonyhurst’s 400-year history and its distinguished tradition of leadership and service.
“People are crying out to be led,” he said, adding that a school which counts three saints, 22 martyrs, seven archbishops and seven recipients of the Victoria Cross among its alumni is equipped to provide the world with Christian leaders.