Bishop of London leads 400th anniversary service for Richard Hale School at St. Paul’s Cathedral

The Rt Rev’d and Rt. Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, lead a service to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Richard Hale School at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Bishop Richard, who is himself an ex-pupil of the school, was joined by former pupils and Bishops, Rt Rev’d John Gladwin, Rt. Rev’d John Flack and the Rt. Rev’d David Smith. Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire was in attendance, along with the Bishop and Mayor of Hertford.

All pupils and staff from Richard Hale School, Hertford, attended the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral to mark the school’s 400th Anniversary.

Over 700 parents and friends of the school completed the congregation of over 2000 people with the Richard Hale choir, band and readers from across the year groups, performing during the service.
Upon the last chime, the trumpet fanfare signified the start of the service and the arrival of the procession, comprising of the Headmaster and Deputy Heads’, the Mayor of Hertford, President of the Richard Hale Association (Alumni), Chair of Governors, Chair of the Parents’ Association and the Head Boy and Head Girl.

Stephen Neate, Headmaster at Richard Hale School, said: ““This has been one of the most memorable occasions in the School’s history and our 400th Anniversary celebration events are a magnificent way of commemorating the founding of our School and celebrating its longevity, resilience, outstanding success and achievements of our whole School community”.

Steve Goodair, Chair of Governors, said: “This has been an extraordinary day and a triumph for the school. Well done to all the organisers and to the staff and students. A heroic achievement of planning and execution. It will live long in all our memories.”

The School was founded in 1617 by Richard Hale when he was awarded a licence by King James 1st and built Hertford Grammar School for the instruction of children in the Latin tongue and other literature.

In 1967 the school celebrated its 350th Anniversary marking this milestone with a visit from the Queen Mother and renaming it after its founder. It later became a comprehensive school for boys and in recent years changed from a Foundation to an autonomous Academy with a co-educational sixth form.

It is fitting that the service was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral as Richard Hale’s granddaughter, Lady Dionys Williamson of Hales Hall, Norfolk was the largest single contributor towards the building of the new cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Additionally, Richard Hale was buried at St Dunstans-in-the-East, next to St. Paul’s in 1660 which began the school’s association with both the Cathedral and the church.
Today the School aspires to fulfil his vision and combine traditional values with a modern curriculum and resources. For further information about Richard Hale School and the 400th Anniversary celebrations, please contact, 2017 Coordinator.