Denaby’s New School – Roman Catholics Ceremony – Bishops Impressive Visit

June 1925

Mexborough and Swinton Times June 27, 1925

Denaby’s New School
Roman Catholics Stone laying Ceremony
Bishops Impressive Visit

An impressive stone ceremony was held on Monday at the Roman Catholic School in course of erection at Denaby Main. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds (Dr Cowgill) blessed the stone and the foundation, and laid the stone, which was inscribed:

in honour of the Holy Family,
Model of Christian Schools,
this stone was laid,
St Albans, June 22, 1925

Monday was the patronal festival of the Denaby Main Roman Catholic Church, and was thus a peculiarly appropriate occasion for such a ceremony.

The Roman Catholic clergy who took part, in addition to the Bishop, Father Leteux and Watson, of Denaby Main, were cannons Hewison(Castleford) and Mitchell (the Cathedral, Leeds), Fathers Inkamp (Normanton), McNiff (South Kirby), Shaughnessy (Cudworth), Morrison (Wath), Levick (Ripon), Flynn (Doncaster), Bentley (Doncaster), Bradley (Sheffield), Saxton (Otley), White (Sheffield), Dunford (Sheffield), Donkers (Mortomley, McKenna (Hoyland), Mulcahey (Wombwell), and Harty (the Cathedral, Leeds).

Among the prominent laymen present were Messrs A.Roberts, A.E.Berry, and L.Worsley, of the Conisbrough District Education Subcommittee; Mr Blackburn of Castleford; Messrs Clarkson and Clark, the architect; and Mr Birch, the contractor.

The Bishop, who was in full Pontificals, walked under a canopy worn by Dr O’Donnell, Messrs McDonnell, Osborne and Catterall.

A procession was first formed in the church which adjoins the site of the new school stop procession was led by the altar boys, followed by children of the church, the girls in white and wearing veils, “the children of Mary” with their banner; the clergy, and the Bishop. On the site a throne had been erected for the Bishop on a platform, and the papal flag, the union Jack, and the flags of Ireland and France were flying, the whole making a striking scene.

After the Bishop and bless the stone and declared it “well and truly laid,” he bless the foundations of the school.

A powerful address was then given by Dr Levick of Ripon, who took as his theme the fight of the Roman Catholics for religious freedom in education. He quoted the decision, announced last week, of the US Supreme Court, in the legal suit of appeal brought by the Roman Catholics against an ordinance of the Oregon State legislature, making compulsory attendance of all children of certain ages at the public schools. The Supreme Court upheld the appeal, and the decision was a great victory for the Roman Catholics.

Dr Levick drew an analogy between that contest and the one that was being waged in this country, and the one that had been successfully waged at Denaby Main. The answer to the question, “Why do Roman Catholics make such sacrifices for their schools?” Was that they believe that religious instruction is absolutely essential to any true education.

Denaby had done splendidly in growth for very small beginnings into a completely equipped Roman Catholic community, with church, school and club.

It was a grave injustice to the Roman Catholics that their insistence on “the four R’s”, instead of the three – religion added to reading writing and arithmetic – should cause their having to pay twice for the education of their children. They had to pay to the rates and taxes for the school for the other children, and to their church for the maintenance of the school for their own children. Under this injustice they were not going to rest.

“I appeal to Labour leaders especially, said Dr Levick, “to remember that our people are practically suffering a reduction of wages because they insist on the schools.”
The hymn, “Faith of our Fathers,” was so while offerings were laid on the stone.

The total amount received during and before the ceremony for the stone was £167.

The school will cost about £10,000, of which £6000 been borrowed, and the remainder paid by subscriptions and donations. Of this £4000 about £3000 has already been raised. The work of building is going on rapidly.

The stone laying ceremony was very largely attended.