Archbishop Cushley officially opens new Catholic school
Holy Mass was celebrated recently to mark the official opening of a new Catholic High School in Winchburgh, West Lothian.
Sinclair Academy is named after The Venerable Margaret Sinclair, who is revered for her life of holiness.
Archbsihop Cushley said: “I am delighted that there is a new Catholic school in West Lothian to serve the surrounding community.
“Sinclair Academy is a splendid building, and it was an honour to be asked to bless it and to open it officially. It was a great pleasure to meet with staff and pupils, as well as Councillors and Executives of West Lothian Council.
“Congratulations also to the head teacher Dr Burns, and to his staff and pupils: may they be excellent learners, good citizens, and faithful disciples.”
Over £60 million was invested to build Sinclair Academy, Winchburgh Academy, Holy Family Primary and shared sports block to accommodate the demand for school places in the growing core development are of Winchburgh.
Sinclair Academy Headteacher Dr Gerry Burns said: “We were delighted to welcome Archbishop Cushley to officially open Sinclair Academy.
“Our fantastic new school building will help us build a real community of learning and faith, and we’re delighted to share it with all our special guests today.”
Sinclair Academy currently provides denominational education to 80 first year pupils, which will grow considerably each year until it provides a full S1 to S6 education by 2028/29.
Closing the event, Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It’s so important we provide our young people with right environment for education, such as the fantastic facilities found at Sinclair Academy and throughout the Winchburgh Schools campus.
“Sinclair Academy will allow us to meet the demand for denominational education from local residents in communities in the east of West Lothian, such as Winchburgh, Broxburn and Linlithgow.”
WATCH: Sinclair Academy set to open in Winchburgh
Archbishop Cushley was given a tour of the impressive Sinclair Academy in Winchburgh, West Lothian, by its headteacher Gerry Burns. Watch the video below or on YouTube.
Mr Burns said: "The school is named after (Venerable) Margaret Sinclair, so our school values are very much about her - aspiration, integrity, mercy and service -
and it's really about our young people, where we develop a faith life in a school.
The Archbishop was here to visit the new school and it's so exciting at this point that he's involved with that with us just now.
"It's really important for us that the Archdiocese is key to what we do as a Catholic school moving forward.
Archbishop calls on parents to support new Catholic schools
Archbishop Cushley joined parishioners in Winchburgh on Sunday to support the building of two new Catholic schools in the town.
Sinclair Academy is a high school dedicated to Margaret Sinclair, an inspirational nun from Edinburgh who was declared “Venerable” by Pope Paul VI in 1978.
Holy Family Primary, currently based in the town's Glendevon Park, will have a new building on the same campus.
The Archbishop celebrated Mass with Fr Jeremy Bath and Fr John Agnew at St Philomena's before cutting a cake to mark the event.
He said: "Having visited the site last year, I am certain that it will be a fine building, so the next thing is to make it into a very fine Catholic school!
"That will depend to a large extend on its being used by Catholic mums and dads and young people, and its support by you, as well as the Catholics of Broxburn and Linlithgow, to ensure it gets off to the best start possible."
He added: "We have been very fortunate in having the support of the leader of West Lothian, Lawrence Fitzpatrick, and James Cameron, Head of Education: they have seen the need in our Catholic community, and I’m confident I speak for all of us when I say that I am very happy with this outcome."
The schools are part of West Lothian’s largest ever investment in education, a £60.7 million multi-schools project that will deliver Holy Family primary, Sinclair Academy, and the non-denominational Winchburgh Academy.
The primary school is due to open later this year, while the two high schools are scheduled to open in August 2023.
Sunday Mass at St Philomena's in Winchburgh, with Archbishop Cushley, Fr Jeremy Bath and Fr John Agnew.
Children preparing for their First Holy Communion were brought forward to recite the 'Our Father'.
Parishioners shared a cup of tea with Archbishop Cushley in the church hall after Mass (pic: John Muir).
Archbishop Cushley chats with a parishioner.
A cake marking the building of two new Catholic schools in Winchburgh.
Children help Archbishop Cushley cut the cake.
Parish priest Fr Jeremy Bath and Archbishop Cushley.