Cambridge students have been urged to be “counter cultural”

Cambridge students have been urged to be “counter cultural” by Bishop Alan Hopes during a visit to St Mary’s Catholic School on January 23.

The school was marking Mary Ward Day – marking the birthday of the school’s foundress and welcomed Bishop Alan to join the celebrations.

Bishop Alan spent time with the school’s Mary Ward scholars and students championing CAFOD’s Power To Be campaign through its Young Leaders Programme; visited Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form students in lessons; and celebrated Mass at the Senior School in honour of the school’s founder, in which he called for students to be, like Mary Ward, “counter cultural”.

Bishop Alan encouraged the congregation: “In a society which tells us that the only things that matter are wealth and power and fame – be counter cultural! In spite of all the challenges and difficulties that will come our way, your vision is worth pursuing to transform a world which has lost its way in many areas – be counter cultural!

“Make a difference to people’s lives in your choice of vocation and especially to the poor, the homeless, trafficked men and women, migrants and refugees – be counter cultural!”

Ms Charlotte Avery, Headmistress, concluding the Mass, said: “Thank you to Bishop Alan for joining us today to mark our foundress’ birthday, and for sharing such a clear and captivating call to arms. Of course, we honour Mary Ward through the year and the Bishop’s message to be counter cultural is something we strive to live out every day in our school, for the greater benefit of the wider community.”

During the afternoon, groups of Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 students performed a number of sketches as part of a Witty and Wonderful Mary Ward Show.

Ms Avery said: “This year has been another superb celebration of our foundress – her vision to educate women, her perseverance against resistance, and her attitude of being counter cultural.”

Pictured top is Bishop Alan, Sixth Form Mary Ward scholars and CAFOD Young Leaders, and Headmistress Charlotte Avery.