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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Catholic-Anglican first for Wales
St Joseph's
St Joseph's has begun taking Anglican pupils as well
The first shared faith school in Wales has opened its doors, two years after a merger was agreed.

St Joseph's Catholic High School in Wrexham is now known as St Joseph's Catholic and Anglican High School.

The 650-pupil school is opening a week later than most others in Wales while refurbishments are completed.

Pat Jeffers of Wrexham Council said it was "a very big step forward for the two faiths and the school". There will be about 150 extra pupils.

It is thought some 60% of pupils will be Catholic, with the remainder Anglican.

Head teacher John Kenworthy told BBC Wales: "It's legitimising what the real position was. We've always welcomed Anglican children.

We've tried to keep the best of what St Joseph's has always represented but carry it through into a new era
John Kenworthy
Head teacher

"We were approached by the Anglican church, who have a number of Anglican faith [primary] schools.

"They get six years of faith-based education, and suddenly there's nothing for them."

He added the school had spent a number of years investigating the possibility in order to "get it right for both parties".

"I'm delighted to say that by and large very little will change. We have a good reputation for academic standards, standards for discipline, uniform and behaviour.

"We've tried to keep the best of what St Joseph's has always represented but carry it through into a new era because we will have to change and to a certain extent we have to encompass new ideas."

"Although we share so much there are differences in our traditions but the starting point is we respect those differences."

Reverend Edwin Counsell, education officer for the Church in Wales, said: "The Church in Wales and the Roman Catholic church have been cooperating closely in the education sphere for very many years.

"With the opening of St Joseph's school we now have a wonderful visible sign of that close co-operation of recent years."

"We've always welcomed Anglican children"

8.5m Catholic-Anglican school
20 May 04 |  North East Wales
Second 'super' school to re-open
07 Apr 05 |  North East Wales

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