Wednesday, 19 March 2014

St Peter’s Catholic School – Topping Out Ceremony for St Cecilia’s Theatre

Eighteen months ago, St Peter’s School, Guildford realised that they needed a new theatre and liturgy building that represented the dynamism and vibrancy of the school. A building that was welcoming, that had a real sense of arrival, a place that students value, a place where they feel they belong. It had to be multi-functional allowing for large school productions and concerts, but also incorporating teaching space that is used daily. The theatre will also built to be used for liturgies and R.E. activities and it was designed to incorporate both uses equally well. The theatre style has been built to reflect the students’ forward thinking and the world in which they aspire to live in. It has been built to be as environmentally friendly as is feasible, and constructed from sustainable materials where appropriate.

St Peter’s also has a long history and superb reputation for its productions and musical concerts and the school and the governing body decided to embark on this ambitious project and to build a theatre and liturgy building fit for the school. Since then with the generous assistance of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Surrey County Councillor Graham Ellwood, the Guildford Catenians and the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Trust plus our own tireless fundraising in main through the Name a Seat Appeal we have raised the over £1m required to complete the project. We were also delighted to receive a donation from the Wintershall CharitableTrust to enable us to buy an altar for St Cecilia’s.

When asked to support the new Theatre & Liturgy Building Appeal at St Peter’s, the Right Reverend Bishop Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton said:

"Our Catholic schools support our children on their journey of faith and provide an environment where they grow in the love of Jesus and respect one another. We are constantly striving to improve the quality of provision in our schools and I am delighted to add my full support to the proposed new Theatre & Liturgy Building at St Peter’s Catholic School."

St Cecilia’s is well under way and the project is due to complete in May 2014. On Wednesday 5th March there was a “topping out ceremony” – a rite of passage with new buildings to celebrate the fact that the roof is on and secure and the building is now dry and protected from the elements.

At the topping out ceremony were Headteacher Robert Guinea, Chair of Governors Helen Read, Mary Reynolds Director of Education at the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Mark Ingram Governor and Chair of the New Build Committee, Tania Cantoni Marketing & Fundraising Manager, David Banks from Flowitts Llp, Architects, Alexander Kitchin from HA & DB Kitchin the main building contractors and David Bakker the Project Site Manager (see picture above).

St Cecilia’s Theatre will open on 26th June 2014 which is close to the Feast Day of St Peter and St Paul on 29th June and we are pleased that Bishop Kieran be present and will bless the new theatre as part of the whole school Feast Day Mass.

Robert Guinea said “I am delighted that we will shortly have a brilliant building to use for liturgies, assemblies and reflection days and also a place to showcase the many talents of our students through school productions and concerts. I look forward to many exciting productions and liturgies in the years to come.”

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