Bishop Mark O’Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, visited the school on 22 October, to meet with students and staff from Plymouth Diocese. This was almost exactly one year since the visitation by our own Bishop Philip. Interestingly, when a Bishop visits within the Diocese of another Bishop, he needs to ask permission as a courtesy. Fortunately, Bishop Philip was keen to share the work of our school with our neighbouring Diocese, and thus this short visit went ahead.
The Vatican Flag flew as the Bishop, accompanied by Canon Keith Mitchell, chatted to students from Wimborne and other parishes in Plymouth Diocese. We were pleased that representatives from the Iford site were able to come to Southbourne to share their experiences of life at Iford. After the discussion, Our Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl took the Bishop and Canon Keith for a tour of the school, including an RE lesson, where, as it happened, the Year 10 class were learning about “Magisterium”. Bishop Mark was happy to sit and chat with students about his journey through priestly vocation to his current role, and his life as a Bishop.
Finally, the Bishop met chaplains, who shared the impressively wide range of pastoral and spiritual work that they coordinate across the school. It was lovely for Mr Todd to receive a letter from Bishop Mark, following the visit, expressing his great pleasure in seeing, and experiencing, the vibrant Catholic life of this special school.