In 1917, Bernard Ward became the first Bishop of Brentwood and the diocese have been celebrating its centenary over the last year. On November 16th 2017, the last Mass of the Centenary was celebrated by Bishop Alan Williams in the chapel of St Edmund’s College Ware, in the shrine chapel of which Bernard Ward is buried. Bishop Alan was accompanied by Emeritus Bishop of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon, canons, priests and seminarians.
The schola of Loyola Preparatory School, Buckhurst Hill under their Director of Music Carmel Thomas provided the choristers for the Mass. They sung the Kyrie and Agnus Dei from Faure’s Missa Basse, Credo III and the Sanctus from Missa de Angelis as well as a setting of O Beate Mi Edmundi especially composed for them by James Devor and a number of other hymns and anthems.
Following the Mass, amongst other comments the boys were commended as follows by the Episcopal Vicar for Education, the Diocese of Brentwood
“I feel that I should write to you regarding the involvement of the pupils and staff of your school at the recent celebration to mark the end of the Brentwood Diocese Centenary. Not wishing to overstate the superlatives I must state that I found the singing of the pupils wonderful, their behaviour impeccable and their engagement in the Mass exemplary … I feel that they are a credit to the school, their families and themselves.”
In his final year before retirement, it was a double privilege for the Headmaster of Loyola, Peter Nicholson, who had started his teaching career forty three years earlier at St Edmund’s and therefore had been able to bring his most recent school to his old.