THE bells of Croydon Minster rang a quarter peal last Friday for
a Founder's Day service to celebrate the tercentenary of Archbishop
Tenison School, Croydon. It is believed to be the longest-running
mixed school in the world.
The school, founded in Southwark in 1714 by Archbishop Tenison
for ten poor boys and ten poor girls, has evolved into a 760-pupil
comprehensive. It was "a sign of hope that a school started for
those who needed it has lasted for three centuries, and still has
the same values and purpose as it did when it was founded", the
head teacher, Richard Parrish, said.
Led by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun,
the service was part of a week of tercentenary celebrations that
began with a concert, included a day-long festival at the school on
Saturday, and ended with the opening, on Monday, of an exhibition
at the Fairfield Halls.
Over the weekend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and his
predecessor, the Rt Revd Lord Williams, contributed to the daily
300-word messages on the school website.
Archbishop Welby's message emphasised the qualities of faith,
hope, and love, and included the advice: "Only the achievements
that you come by fairly will give you lasting pleasure."
Lord Williams wrote: "A good school teaches you to pay attention
to your work, your needs and gifts, and those of others. Archbishop
Tenison would have wanted his school to nurture just this kind of