St Albans school chaplain celebrates being awarded British citizenship
PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 May 2016
Students and staff at a St Albans school have been celebrating their ‘pillar of the community’ chaplain of 18 years being awarded British citizenship.
The chaplain of St Albans High School for Girls, the Rev Diane C. FitzGerald Clark – known as Mother Clark – officially became a British national in front of a packed assembly of 750 students and staff led by a ceremonies officer.
Headmistress Jenny Brown said: “The ceremony underlined for the girls the topic of British values, which we’re required to stress in our teaching,
“At our school, we take this requirement very seriously indeed and strive to underline these values in all that we do here.”
The assembly witnessed the chaplain’s pledges to Queen and country and joined in with a rendition of the national anthem .
Mother Clark, an American living in the UK for 20 years, gave a moving speech during the proceedings where she said that her ancestors sailed to America on the Mayflower, so this was her ‘coming home’.
Jenny added:“We’re grateful to Hertfordshire Council for allowing the event to take place here - and we’re delighted that Mother Clark has ‘come home.”
As well as being the full time chaplain and a member of the academic staff at the school, Mother Clark – wife of 32 years to Dr Graham Clark – is a Church of England priest with permission to officiate in the Diocese of St Albans.
As chaplain of the school, she is an associated clergyperson of St Albans Cathedral.