The Archbishop of Birmingham joined dozens of staff, governors and pupils from across the decades to celebrate a landmark anniversary at a Coventry school.

Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrated Mass at the 65th anniversary of Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, which is part of the Romero Catholic Academy, as members of the school community gathered at the school’s Saint Charles Lwanga theatre.

Archbishop Bernard joined current and former staff and pupils at the school on Potters Green Road, which opened in 1958 and is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The Archbishop praised staff and pupils for their commitment to the school community.

He said: “It’s a great thing to come together to remember those pioneers 65 years ago who had a vision for catholic education in this part of the city.

“I’m very grateful to all the staff for inviting me, and thank former members of staff and students for supporting the school community, not just tonight but on many occasions over the years.

“The Saint Charles Lwanga Theatre is a very fitting place for our gathering of the Eucharist, with a real sense of thanksgiving and gratitude as we move closer to the end of another academic year.”

Father George Bennett, Parish Priest for Saint Patrick, Coventry, was also a celebrant at the evening Mass, which saw former head teacher Angela Whelan, current principal Matthew Everett and sixth form student Ciaran Fawcett share readings and reflections – while the school band provided the music.

Year 10 pupil Isabel also performed the responsorial psalm, with the congregation joining her in full voice.

Margaret Knight, daughter of Cardinal Wiseman’s first head teacher Tom Hope, said the day brought back a lot of memories.

“I’ve been back to Cardinal Wiseman a number of times over the years but today has reminded me a lot of how things used to be and how much has changed,” she said.

The school, which became part of the Romero Catholic Academy in 2015, also hosted a gallery complete with artefacts from across the decades, including the original school cap and crest designed by Tom Hope.

Margaret added: “I came to school here the year after my father started, and things were done very differently back then. It’s been really interesting to see his name on the official documents and records, and lovely that people have had the chance to come together today.”

Tom Scott-Machin, Lay Chaplain for Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, said: “It’s been a real honour to host the Archbishop today as we celebrate 65 years of Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, and both inspiring and encouraging to hear his comments about our staff and pupils and the wider community.

“We know this school means a huge amount to lots of people, with many reuniting after a number of years. It is an opportunity to share memories but also mark the anniversary in what has been a truly memorable occasion.”