Bishop of East Anglia opens £1m sixth form extension at Ipswich school

The new extension at St Albans Catholic High School in Ipswich. Principal Colin Walker is pictured w

The new extension at St Albans Catholic High School in Ipswich. Principal Colin Walker is pictured with pupils. - Credit: Archant

Community leaders and dignitaries have helped to officially open a £1million extension at a Suffolk school.

The centre at St Alban’s Catholic High School, in Ipswich, has six classrooms, a library and a roof-terrace exclusively for the school’s 211 sixth form pupils.

The Bishop of East Anglia, the Right Reverend Alan Hopes, visited the school last week to celebrate the opening along with fellow priests, Father John Warrington, Father Christopher Smith and Father Anthony Rogers and Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm.

Representatives from the extension’s architects Hoopers and the Builders, and Brooks and Wood, also attended.

The event began with Mass with many of the sixth formers taking leading roles in the readings, prayers and offertory procession.

Head girl Esther McNeil said the sixth formers really enjoyed the service, especially the Creed spoken in five different languages, and felt it was important to be a part of something that celebrated and supported their accomplishments and future studies.

Bishop Alan, in his homily, encouraged the sixth form students attending the Mass to give “firm foundations to their faith, learning and relationships by making Jesus their cornerstone of their lives”.

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At the end of Mass, head boy Kit Lee-Smith and Esther led the guests to the new sixth form block so Bishop Alan could officially open the building with a prayer of blessing and by cutting a ribbon. Bishop Alan then blessed all the rooms.

The extension was funded by the Education Fund Agency and the Roman Catholic Diocese.

Principal Colin Walker presented Bishop Alan with the St Alban’s Award, given to those people who have made an outstanding contribution to the school community.

The school’s chaplain, Katherine Edwards, said: “It was truly a wonderful and memorable day marking a new stage in the development of the sixth form at St Alban’s.”

St Alban’s Catholic High School is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status located in Digby Road, Ipswich.