Special ceremony to bless gates designed by ex-pupil

OPENING St Edmund's Catholic School headteacher Simon Graham, Peter Codling and Cllr Frank Jonas
OPENING St Edmund's Catholic School headteacher Simon Graham, Peter Codling and Cllr Frank Jonas
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Dogs use facial expressions to communicate

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New entrance gates designed by a former pupil at St Edmund’s Catholic School were officially opened at a blessing ceremony.

Portsmouth artist Peter Codling produced a bespoke design featuring eye-catching stainless steel metalwork depicting the story of Saint Edmund.

As well as the namesake of the school he is also the patron saint of the Diocese of Portsmouth.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas, along with pupils, governors, past and present staff members and Mr Codling, attended a blessing to celebrate the installation of the gates and the opening of the new reception building at the school in Arundel Street.

The blessing was led by Canon Dominic Golding, Dean of St John’s Catholic Cathedral.

Mr Codling, an ex-pupil of the school, was joined by his parents for the ceremony. His design for the magnificent new entrance was admired by all present.

The large double gates illustrate a vision of the boy Jesus to Saint Edmund and another scene shows the rain from a storm being kept off his congregation as they prayed outside.

The design also features the school motto ‘caelum dives ingredi’ – to enter heaven enriched.

The headteacher of St Edmund’s, Simon Graham, said: ‘We are delighted that the gates to our school tell the story of St Edmund, combined with some unique modern-day aspects of students’ education.

‘Having gates made by a former student who is now a well-known artist is particularly special.

‘The gates and our new reception will undoubtedly become another living piece of art in our city.’

The new reception area, with its curved, green-tiled walls and a cross design formed by frosted glass bricks, incorporates several offices, meeting rooms and first aid facilities.

Canon Dominic then followed Mr Graham’s introduction with the blessing that included a reading, intercessions and prayers before sprinkling the gates and walls with holy water.