Archbishop of Canterbury to visit St Alban’s Academy

Wednesday 25 February 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, visited St Alban’s Academy, Highgate, on Monday 23rd February during a visit to Birmingham.


During his visit the Archbishop met with students and invited guests over lunch.  Students had the opportunity to ask questions about the Archbishop’s life, his role as the leader of the Church of England as well as current issues affecting the church and our society.


The Archbishop also blessed a new site which is being developed as a community access facility with outdoor table tennis tables and outdoor fitness equipment.  Once completed the new facility will be called the Archbishop Welby Healthy Living Area.  There is already open access to the multi-use games area, and community access to the indoor sports facilities at St Alban’s Academy, and this additional space will make an important and much needed contribution to health and fitness in Highgate.


David Gould, Principal of St Alban’s said,


“I am delighted that Archbishop Welby is visiting St Alban’s Academy during his time in Birmingham.  We are very proud of the work that we do at St Alban’s Academy which continues the mission begun 150 years ago by the Pollock brothers, priests of our parish - to provide education for the people of this community.


“Highgate is a richly diverse community and we are especially proud of the interfaith relationships that we have both within our school and with our community.  Our collective worship, with student-led prayers and readings from the Bible and the Qu'ran accompanied by thoughtful discussion of spiritual issues is deeply moving, and I believe that we are a model for communities elsewhere.”


The character of St Alban’s Academy as a Church of England school remains at the heart of the school’s identity.  The school ethos is underpinned by the idea of “common terms” – commonalities that unite the different faith communities.   The current student body is 80% Muslim with families originating mainly from Pakistan, Yemen and, most recently, Somalia.  Of the rest, 8% are Christian, 8% are of undeclared faith, plus a small number of Sikhs, Rastafarians and Jehovah’s witnesses.