Bishop David presided at the Mass celebrating Catholic education across sour diocese on Tuesday 2nd July at Northampton Cathedral. Focussing on the place of the Holy Spirit within the life of our schools, the bishop said’

“The servant leader seeks to discern the often gentle and quiet breath of the Spirit, blowing along the corridors of our schools. In my experience, the authentic word of God’s Spirit is not always obvious, often surprising, always inviting us to transcend our limited horizons. We have been sealed with the promise of the Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance”

At the end of Mass, the bishop made presentations to those senior staff who are leaving our family of schools either for Pasteurs new or a well earned retirement. He also made two presentations of the In fiddles servito or in faithful service medal, award by the bishop for extraordinary service.

There were two recipients of the medal this year, Mr Ciran Stapleton and Mrs Collette Curtis.

In March 2023 Ciran demonstrated an act of selfless, heroic bravery as he acted to prevent an armed intruder entering St Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School, Slough and potentially injuring pupils and staff. Believing the intruder to have a gun, Ciran spent 30 minutes listening to the man, recognising the significant mental health issues the man displayed while dealing with his own thoughts of threat to life. During this period the school effectively went into “lockdown” a drill which pupils and staff were firmly familiar with and certainly supported their safety on this day. A much-valued colleague and Head Teacher, Ciran was nominated for this award by Cameron Martin, Head Boy at St Joseph’s School, Slough

Collette retired in January 2024 after dedicating many years to Northampton Diocese Education Service, and in her final 3 years she worked as the Director of Schools. During this time Collette worked collaboratively with the Catholic Education Service, representatives from all dioceses across England and Wales, Department of Education and the Regional School Commissioner. Her commitment to her role has been highly praised by members within all these organisations. Collette also played a significant part in the planning, preparation and establishment of our two Catholic Trusts – Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academy Trust and St Thomas Catholic Academy Trust and has been instrumental in supporting schools on their journey to joining these Trusts. School leaders have payed tribute to the personnel support that they have received from Collette over the years. And for this we are truly grateful.