New era as archbishop officially opens school

Pictured at the mass to officially launch the school.
Pictured at the mass to officially launch the school.

Use your gifts well - that was the message from Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, at a mass on Thursday to celebrate the official opening of St John the Baptist’s College (formerly Drumcree College).

And the archbishop said that in the spirit of St John the Baptist, people needed to help others reach their potential and to take joy in the achievements of others.

“We have to prepare the way for Christ in our lives and in the lives of others,” he told the congregation at St John the Baptist Church.

The mass, at which parish priests Canon Michael Toner and Fr Peter Clarke also officiated, was attended by pupils, parents and the community along with representatives from the CCMS and the Department of Education.

Representatives of the 11 primary feeder schools were also in attendance as well as pupils and staff from other schools including Lismore Comprehensive.

Principal Noella Murray said the mass was the first of a number of events to mark the school’s official launch and was a way of thanking the community for getting behind the new school.

She said, “We would like to send our sincere thanks to all those who took the time to celebrate with us.”

The school, which opened in September last year, has almost doubled its year 8 intake, with 78 new pupils enrolled.

Drumcree College had previously faced an uncertain future after its numbers fell.

Mrs Murray said the school aimed to build on its links with the community, and had already received the overwhelming support and engagement of parents.

She said there was a sense of a “sea-change” within the school.