Highgate School celebrates 450th birthday with St Paul’s Cathedral service

A historic school has celebrated its 450th anniversary in opulent style with a religious service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

All 1,500 pupils at Highgate School in North Road, Highgate, gathered at the iconic City of London church for a thanksgiving service to pay homage to the school’s Elizabethan founders.

The ceremony was led by the Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, and featured readings from life peer and former pupil Lord Redesdale, and chairman of governors, the retired civil servant, John Mills CBE.

The last service the school held at St Paul’s was in 1965 for its 400th anniversary.

Headteacher Adam Pettitt said: “In a 450th anniversary year packed with memorable occasions, the magnificent thanksgiving service at St Paul’s was a real high point, allowing us to give thanks to our founder and benefactors for our school and community in a glorious setting, and to commit ourselves, as our preacher said, to being ‘loyal to the future’. Seeing everyone filling the cathedral, from the tiniest member of our pre-prep school, to venerable former pupils was a humbling and deeply moving experience.”