Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools celebrate their 400th anniversary in style at St Paul’s Cathedral

March 21, 2014

A Momentous Day in the Schools’ History

A truly memorable Service of Thanksgiving was held at St Paul’s Cathedral, four hundred years to the day when  King James I signed the Letters Patent on the 19th March 1614 to found Monmouth School.

Around 1,200 pupils aged 7 to 18 and staff from the boys’ and girls’ schools made the 300 mile round-trip to London in a convoy of 32 coaches, arriving and departing with military precision from the steps of St Paul’s.   Members of the school community were joined by Haberdashers, Governors, Clergy, past pupils and parents. Everyone involved felt a real sense of privilege to be part of this Service.  Few will ever forget the sound of the choir and organ reverberating around Wren’s stunningly beautiful baroque Cathedral, or hearing The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, deliver the Golden Lecture.   The Bishop reflected on the fact that the pupils themselves were the living legacy of William Jones’s bequest, looking forward to the future with hope.

HMSG Student Alice (Y13) who had attended the service said; “On the 19th of March pupils and staff were privileged to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Monmouth School, and the legacy of William Jones, with a service in St Paul’s Cathedral. The experience was unforgettable, from the 32 coach convoy to witnessing a service which will never be repeated. The entire event was truly unique. During the service, we enjoyed readings and prayers by various pupils and staff from the Monmouth schools, music from our choirs and a Golden Lecture, in keeping with the bequest of William Jones, delivered by the Bishop of Southwark. After the service, 6th form students were lucky enough to be invited to afternoon tea at the Guildhall, another rare opportunity that we were delighted to be offered. As a whole, the day will be one remembered by each and every pupil for a lifetime and an occasion we will never be able to replicate. The day provided the perfect ceremony and celebrations to honour the life and work of William Jones.”

A live twitter feed kept everyone posted on events as the day unfolded.  Click here for a snapshot of the day.