Thomas More Catholic School in Purley, Surrey, was honoured to host Archbishop Peter Smith on Thursday October 20.
Archbishop Smith celebrated Mass and blessed the newly refurbished Mary Conlan Sixth Form Centre.
The school started its post-16 provision in September 2005 with five students and it now boasts over 100, studying a variety of AS-level, A-level and BTEC courses; it enjoyed 99 per cent pass rate at A-level in 2011.
The governors were delighted that Archbishop Smith was able to concelebrate Mass in the main hall with Canon Jim Pannett and Fr Philip Glandfield in recognition of the school’s success over the past 50 years.
Mary Conlan, who started the school in 1962, was guest of honour for the day and reminisced about former times with colleagues and students.
Members of the governing body, all sixth formers and students from Years 7-11 took part by serving at Mass, singing in the choir or representing their tutor groups.
The steel pan band which recently played at Westminster Cathedral rang out the final hymn, “We shall go out with joy” – and indeed it was a joyous day.