After 31 years’ service at Salesian School, Dr John Lydon is leaving following his appointment as Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Theology and Leadership at St Mary’s University College. A Mass in celebration of his contribution took place in St Anne’s Chertsey at the end of the Christmas Term.
Current and former Headteachers and staff were present alongside the Diocesan Director of School Mrs Mary Reynolds and Mr Peter Ward, Secondary RE Adviser in the Diocese. 11 priests concelebrated the Mass including the Provincial of the Salesian Order, Fr Martin Coyle, along with two former Provincials and other Salesians who have been supportive throughout John’s ministry as a Salesian teacher.
At the end of the Mass Fr Coyle announced that the Rector Major of the Salesian Order had awarded the Medal of St John Bosco, conferred on lay people for distinguished service.Fr Coyle read a letter from the Rector Major, the leader of 16,000 Salesians worldwide, which included the following words: “It is with great pleasure that I offer you this medal of St John Bosco as a mark of appreciation not just of those at Chertsey and the Salesian Province in Great Britain but of the entire Salesian family”.
After Mass a reception was held in the Savio Centre during which the current Headteacher, Mr James Kibble, expressed his appreciation of John’s service in an amusing yet substantive speech during which he quoted from letters sent by Professor Gerald Grace of the Institute of Education and Fr Anthony Bailey SDB, a former Headteacher and now Director of Salesian publications.