It is not every day that a place of worship bounces to the tunes of the Beatles, Rick Astley and the Kaiser Chiefs to name a few, but it isn’t every day that a school celebrates its half century.
Hundreds of children, parents and relatives packed into Horsham’s St Mary’s Church, on the Causeway, last Friday afternoon to celebrate 50th anniversary of the neighbouring school.
The service, which was led by St Mary’s CE Primary School head girl Daisy Sullivan and head boy Benedict Winter, was kicked off by the Fab Four’s 1967 smash hit, All You Need Is Love, and the musical theme continued throughout the service with tunes from 1977 and each landmark year thereafter.
Headteacher Alex Bird told the guests: “It is my pleasure to welcome you to our celebration this afternoon to mark the 50th anniversary of St. Mary’s School on its current site here in Normandy next to this wonderful church....
“Throughout the service our staff thought it would be good to educate our current children as to what was top of the pops in each decade throughout our school’s history.”
Children from various year groups read the poems Our Teacher’s Not a Zombie and My Dog Ate My Homework, an extract from Corinthians, a selection of favourite memories and prayers of thanksgiving.
In his address,the Bishop of Horsham, the Right Reverend Mark Sowerby, recounted his memories of growing up in the 1960s, including his grandmother’s dial phone.
He told the children: “For 50 years in your building, people have been teaching children what they need to know for growing up in a world that is changing all the time.
“I do not know how the world will look in 50 years’ time, but you can look forward to it. The future will be a bit of a mystery to us but some things never change. One of these things is love, God is love… I congratulate you all on what is a 50th birthday here in this place.”
A the children filed out, members of the congregation were left to reflect on what the next 50 years will both look and sound like.