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Go-ahead for Catholic schools in Richmond

By on Friday, 25 May 2012

The Diocese of Westminster has been given the go-ahead to open new Catholic schools in Richmond-upon-Thames.

A new Catholic primary and secondary school can now be developed for residents of south-west London, which is short of Catholic schools, after Richmond Council gave its approval at a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

The new co-educational schools are due to open in September 2013, with the primary school beginning with 30 pupils and the secondary with 150, with final capacities of 201 and 1050 respectively.

Both schools will be situated at Clifden Road in Twickenham, on the site currently occupied by Richmond Adult Education College.

The decision represents a major victory for the Church against atheist campaigners who were opposed to the move.

Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said at a public meeting last year that the Pope’s speech to youngsters in Richmond last year made him realise “how sad it was” they had no Catholic secondary schools in the borough.

Bishop John Sherrington, chairman of the Diocese of Westminster Education Commission, said: “The Diocese of Westminster is delighted with the approval from Richmond Council for the development of a new Catholic Secondary and Primary school at Clifden Road, Twickenham. Working with our partners in the Archdiocese of Southwark, we are grateful to members of the Cabinet for finding a way to deliver on a long-standing manifesto promise to make a Catholic secondary school a reality.

“My thanks also go to the very many people within the Richmond Catholic community and others who have done so much to bring this dream to fruition in order to further the common good.

“We now look forward to working in partnership with the Borough to establish the school at the heart of the community in Twickenham.”

  • Recusant

    Great news. I wish them well and hope they develop a good and holy school where the faith may flourish. Personally, I think it would be very appropriate if it were named for the great Pope Benedict XVI.

  • El Nino


    Totally biased, of course, as I have two Godchildren in LBRUT, one is already going to Gumley House, but the other will probably enter the new secondary school in its first year.

    The important thing is that these new schools will be there for at least 50 years. What a lasting legacy of the Papal Visit!

  • haoben405
  • Emma07

    hurrah a rare victory for common sense over the tyranny of Athiesm.  I too wish them well.

  • Lewis P Buckingham

    Singing today at a Mass for the Holy Spirit, the first day of the Year of Grace, and the end of the Marian month of May our parish rejoiced in the different cultures and languages of our community.Parts were sung or spoken in Cantonese, Spanish, Philipino, Maltese,Arabic, Italian,Greek,  Latin and English.Thirty five years ago our school was started to the same din of dispute and specious argument that denigrated the rights of parents to build a school and be supported by Government as you have experienced.
     The school is now a beacon of community, our atheist prime minister recently gave it a new school hall and is still prepared to partly fund it, although that will be another bridge to cross.
    With fifty two nationalities held and thirty eight languages other than English spoken at home it is one of the engines of integration, nation building and the common good of the people of Australia.
     Your path will be hard, but will be marred more by incompetent leadership, rather than those that organise against you, if our history is to be a guide.
     Congratulations especially to those lay people without whom this would not have been possible.

  • Honeybadger

    A brilliant result!

  • Richmond Resident

    I can’t put into words just how delighted Catholic parents and children in Richmond are about this decision.
    The campaign for this school has been parent-led with fantastic support from the diocese and from individual churches.

    There has been much debate, but at every stage of the process, we have had overwhelming support – the pre-statutory consultation had over 97% in favour of the school.

    There is still much work to be done, the BHA are still threatening a judicial review but we are praying that God will continue to ensure that His work is done. 

    The great news too is that it looks more than likely that there will be an additional community school in the borough too, so there is reason for all to be happy.

  • liulan991