Commemorating golden anniversary of St Albans’ Nicholas Breakspear school

Clive Mathew, Executive Head, Annie Brewster, Mayor of St Albans, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Ber

Clive Mathew, Executive Head, Annie Brewster, Mayor of St Albans, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Bernie Whittle, Head of School, plant a tree celebrating the Nicholas Breakpear School Golden Jubilee - Credit: Archant

Celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of a St Albans Catholic school got underway last week with a mass followed by a tree planting.

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, celebrated Nicholas Breakspear’s 50th anniversary mass of thanksgiving with staff and more than 800 pupils from the Colney Heath Lane school which is now in partnership with John Henry Newman School in Stevenage.

Among the other special guests at the service at SS Alban and Stephen Church were the Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Annie Brewster, governors, local priests and other supporters.

During the liturgy students from Year 9 processed through the Church with altarpieces depicting the school’s gospel values of truth, peace, justice and love.

Reflecting on Matthew’s Gospel, Archbishop Vincent spoke of how, “Nicholas Breakspear was a man who searched to a response of what he knew was best within him. He responded to his sense of where love was to be found. He didn’t go searching for something out of anger or resentment.”

Executive headteacher, Clive Mathew, said: “It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate 50 years of Nicholas Breakspear School which also marks the beginning of a new partnership with John Henry Newman School – we are looking to a wonderful future together.”

After the service, a tree was planted by the Archbishop, the Mayor, Clive Mathew and acting head Bernie Whittle in the school’s grounds to mark the occasion.

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Other events to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations include a pilgrimage to Rome and an open day for former pupils and staff.

Do you have any interesting memories of your time at Nicholas Breakspear school over the past 50 years? Email us at