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St Leonards-Mayfield School marks end of 150th anniversary year celebrations with jubilant closing c
17th December 2013

St Leonards-Mayfield School, on the border of East Sussex and Kent, has marked the end of its 150th anniversary year celebrations at a special event at the school. Students, parents, teachers, governors, benefactors and alumnae packed the school’s chapel last month for a special mass to close the anniversary year, celebrated by the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio for Great Britain. Later that day, guests filled the school’s concert hall to watch students perform in a unique closing ceremony, marking the end of the celebratory year.

The audience watched a special presentation highlighting key moments in the school’s 150 year history, as well as details of the anniversary celebrations, which included the burial of a special time capsule in July, containing letters from each current student, artefacts from the school’s history and Mayfield memorabilia. The capsule will remain sealed at the school until its bicentenary in 2063.

Performances during the closing ceremony included songs from the school’s choir, Schola, who are soon to perform in St. Paul’s Cathedral, musical recitals, drama, dance and a special blessing from the Holy Child School of Killiney, Ireland.  St Leonards-Mayfield School’s Headmistress, Antonia Beary closed the ceremony with the lighting of an anniversary candle, which was in turn passed to each guest in the audience.

Miss Beary said: “It is certainly an amazing feat for a school to be celebrating its 150th anniversary. The celebrations throughout the anniversary year have been a great success and have brought our school community together to reflect on the school’s history, as well as looking forward to its future.

“Our sincere thanks to the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini for leading the very special mass and marking the close of what has been a truly memorable year. Here’s to the next 150 years!”

The day also saw the opening of the school’s brand new state-of-the-art sixth form centre, which allows sixth formers at the all-girls Catholic school to have their own dedicated learning area and community space. The centre was declared open during a plaque unveiling and blessing by the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini.

Notes to Editors:

St Leonards-Mayfield School was founded in 1863 when Mother Cornelia Connolly and her group of young pupils enjoyed a picnic in the grounds of The Old Palace, leading to the restoration of the medieval ruin and the establishment of St Leonards-Mayfield School, more usually known as ‘Mayfield’.

Today the school looks to the future with a highly successful Independent Schools Inspectorate report from September 2012 which gave the school an overall rating of ‘excellent’ and has been included in the 2012 list of the Top 50 Girls’ Boarding Schools in the UK.

Media contact: Caroline Burgess, PR Manager, PMW Communications, Stane Court, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9HP. 

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