St Martha’s Primary School extension is blessed by bishop

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A £3.5 million extension which has enabled a West Norfolk Catholic primary school to double in size from 210 to 420 places, has been blessed by the Bishop of East Anglia.

The Rt Rev Alan Hopes performed the honour during a visit to the St Martha’s Primary School, Gaywood.

The expansion was funded by a mixture of Norfolk County Council, Diocese of East Anglia and central government money.

The extension provides the school with eight new classrooms, a sports hall, a new staff room and group rooms.

It has also created a parent ‘drop-off’ area behind the church in order to improve congestion at peak times, and an enlarged staff car park.

Headteacher, Aidan McGovern, said: “We were very pleased to celebrate Mass with Bishop Alan at the beginning of a new school term.

“We combined this visit with a blessing of our new school extension and marked it with a food festival celebrating the wonderful diversity of our school.

“The children and adults tasted food from all over world lovingly prepared by the families of the children.”

Helen Bates, assistant director of the Diocesan Schools Service, said: “This is a shared project between the Diocese and Norfolk County Council.

“It increases not only the number of primary school places in this part of Lynn, but also helps to meet a growing demand for Catholic school places. The school will eventually increase in size from 210 places to 420, although it will not reach its full capacity until 2021.”

The official opening is planned for September 21 which will also coincide with the school’s 60th anniversary.