Over 4,000 children, 600+ staff and one saint

Celebrations took place in January at the The Aquinas Church of England Multi Academy Trust (MAT), as they celebrated the patronal feast of the Christian theologian and saint Thomas Aquinas.

This successful Church of England MAT comprises eight different sized primary schools and one secondary school which have varied local settings and provide exceptional service to their diverse communities both in urban and rural settings. Through its member schools, the MAT provides an excellent, inclusive, Christian distinctive education for all, and maintains excellent relationships with the Diocese.

Kathy Griffiths, CEO of the Aquinas Trust, saw this feast day as an opportunity for the Trust’s combined community to share the day’s worship.  With over 4,000 children in Trust academies from EYFS to year 13 and 600+ staff, the logistics meant taking a virtual approach across the nine sites.  Worship presentations, differentiated by key stage, were prepared by the chaplaincy team and, on the morning of Aquinas Day, were delivered in classrooms and halls across the various locations by staff. 

Kathy Griffiths, Chief Executive said ‘It was truly wonderful to know the faith of our patron and the work of our Trust, was being reflected upon and celebrated throughout the Trust at the same time.  Our academies are very much individual communities, but this shared worship gave us an opportunity to reflect that we are all part of Christ’s worshipping family.’ 

During the worship, children and staff learnt about Thomas Aquinas’ faith and reflected on what is wonderful about their academies and then gave thanks. 

To celebrate the day, Fr. Richard Finch, the central team staff, headteachers, trustees and students also came together to bless the new Aquinas Central building. 

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