Mary Ward Day 2024 – full of celebration, remembrance, and new beginnings
23 January is always a special birthday celebration at St Mary’s as it reminds us of our founder, Mary Ward, a 17th Century nun who championed the educational rights of women at a time when her ‘scandalous’ beliefs and actions attracted much hostility and accusations of herecy.
She paved the way for a network of schools, first in England and then across Europe, and today there are more than 200 schools worldwide in her name.
This Mary Ward Day, we celebrated with a special edition of the Year 7 to 11 students’ own newspaper, the St Mary’s gazette, and the lunch hall was decked in the house colours as a reminder that it was a double house point day! Everyone took part in a House Quiz and even Mary Ward herself had a makeover courtesy of the Art Department and was depicted as a modern day champion.
Sister Jane Livesey CJ (Congregation of Jesus), Sister Frances Orchard CJ, who is also a governor, and Sister Gemma Simmonds CJ held a Mass before attending the formal opening and blessing of the latest addition to our school – the Mary Ward Educational Suite.
And to round off a remarkable day, our students' families were invited to afternoon tea, hosted by our headmistress, Charlotte Avery.