Founder’s Day celebrates 530 years of history

Pupils, staff, governors and Old Stopfordians gathered at St George’s Church to commemorate the foundation of the school by Sir Edmond Shaa in 1487.

Sir Edmond Shaa was Court Jeweller to three kings of England, Prime Warden of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and Lord Mayor of London but in his dazzling rise to national influence he did not forget the children of his home town. Sir Edmond Shaa’s will established the school and his appointment of the Goldsmiths’ Company as the administrators of his bequest established the school’s historic and continuing link with one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of London. Sir David Reddaway, the Clerk of the Goldsmiths’ Company, joined the school for the service at St George’s.

The Preacher Rev. Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, focussed his address on the question ‘what is education for?’, saying:

“As human beings we were made to live in relationship with others, and one of the core purposes of education is to equip us to grow and learn to relate to others in a meaningful way.

“That doesn’t mean only speaking to people we happen to agree with or who we ‘like’ but interacting with different views and opinions and gaining new perspectives as we seek to make sense of the world, ourselves, one another and God.

“Arguing with and debating with each other is part of our development into adults, being equipped to give a reason for our point of view whilst being willing to listen to that of others and discern what is right and true is at the heart of what education is for.”

Rev. Genders’ full address is available here.

The annual Founder’s Day Service sees the continuation of many long traditions including The Founder’s Day Prayer and the singing of Psalm CXXX, De profundis. Junior Chamber Choir sang Godfrey’s ‘Day by Day’; Chamber Choir sang ‘Ezekiel saw de wheel’ and sixth former Georgia Curwen opened the Chorus’s rendition of Excerpts from Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ with a beautiful solo performance.

More information on the school’s history is available in a booklet produced to celebrate the centenary of the school’s move to the Hallam site.

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