A SCHOOL in Crosby welcomed back one of its most illustrious former students when Cardinal Vincent Nichols paid a visit to help mark 100 years since it was formed.
Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, was the VIP guest of St Mary’s College, who held a service of thanksgiving and celebration dinner at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
His Eminence was a pupil from 1956 to 1963 at the independent school, which was founded in 1919.
Other honoured guests at the event included Mark Blundell, the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside and his wife Suzanne.
The evening began with a Mass in the cathedral celebrated by Archbishop Nichols who in his well-received homily produced a programme from St Mary’s 1958 speech day at which - appropriately - he had been presented with a prize for religious studies.
He also mentioned another more recent former pupil, Liverpool footballer Trent Alexander-Arnold, praising him for the happiness he and his teammates had brought to the city with their achievements on the pitch this season.
Following the Mass, the celebrations moved downstairs to the cathedral’s Lutyens Crypt, where guests enjoyed a three-course dinner and the opportunity to catch up with friends from the school, past and present. During the dinner Archbishop Nichols was presented with the first copy of St Mary’s centenary publication - Fidem Vita Fateri (We show our faith by the way we live, love and learn) - a brief history of the school by current Head of History, Niall Rothnie.
The evening ended with an auction and raffle in aid of the St Mary’s Centenary Fund, which is raising money for scholarships, bursaries and new facilities, followed by dancing to the swing and rock and roll sounds of the Retro Revolution Band.
St. Mary’s Principal, Mike Kennedy, said: “This event was an excellent way to celebrate the college’s 100th birthday, and everyone associated with the school was delighted that Archbishop Nichols was able to join us.”