Staff and students at St Edmund’s College, Ware, the oldest Catholic school in England, came together on Thursday 16 November to honour the school’s rich heritage with a series of memorable events and festivities, commemorating its annual celebration of ‘St Edmund’s Day’.

Steeped in history, St Edmund’s College takes great pride in its longstanding past, delivering a blend of teaching that is modern but also rooted deeply in Catholic values and traditions to provide an intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual education. The College was originally founded in northern France in 1568, but was re-established at Old Hall Green in Hertfordshire on 16 November 1793, on the Feast of St Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury (1174-1240). Every year since then, to mark this anniversary, the College celebrates St Edmund’s Day.

This year, a special day of activities began in the morning, with students going timetable free for a whole school mass. The service was celebrated by Father Gerard Skinner at the school’s beautiful on-site chapel. The spiritual gathering provided a moment of reflection and unity, as students and staff joined together in prayer and contemplation.

Following the mass, students went back to their timetabled lessons for periods three and four. At lunchtime, a special ‘Feast of St Edmund’s’ was on the menu, with staff and students enjoying a variety of culinary delights.

To conclude the day, students took part in a fun afternoon of sport for the school’s ‘Winter Sports Day’. There were friendly competitions indoors and outdoors spanning rugby, hockey, netball, chess, and e-sports. The day culminated with a special prize giving ceremony to reward the winning teams.

Matthew Mostyn, Headmaster at St Edmund’s College, said:

“St Edmund’s Day is an integral part of our school’s calendar and holds a very special place in our hearts. This year’s festivities were truly memorable. We thank everyone for their enthusiasm and dedication in making this such a fantastic day and extend our gratitude to Bishop John for his help in starting our celebrations and setting the tone for a day of celebration.”

To celebrate St Edmund’s Day, St Edmund’s College also holds an event every year for former students and staff (Old Edmundians) called ‘St Edmund’s Sunday’, which is celebrated the Sunday closest to St Edmund’s Day (19 November). The celebration began with a mass at 10:30am, followed by a drinks reception in the Ambulacrum and a wonderful buffet lunch.