of Holy Trinity school is certainly a fascinating one: founded by
refugee French nuns at the turn of the 20th century it was saved from
closure in the late 1980's by a group of parents.
The school is planning to celebrate its centenary with a historical
booklet containing the history and origins of the school.
They're also holding a get together for friends and former pupils
of the school on the 5th of July.
The school owes its origins to the Trinitarian order of Nuns, which
dates from the 12th century and was founded by two French priests,
John de Matha and Felix de Valois.
In a sign from heaven a white stag came down to drink in a stream
of running water; between its antlers it bore a cross of red and blue.
St John de Matha, in a vision during his first Mass, was shown the
Habit that his spiritual children were to wear: a white scapular with
a red and blue cross.
Felix was a prince of the Royal House of France, hence the crown and
fleur de lys.
These are symbolised in the school badge and in the names and colours
of the first two houses of the school formed in 1948: De Valois, red
and De Matha, blue.
Fleeing from France
In 1884, following anti-clerical persecution in France, small groups
of sisters were sent abroad. Four sisters arrived in England and settled
in Bromley, Kent.
Willow Bank, in London Road was purchased for them and in 1887 it
opened as a school with 3 pupils.
Mother Marie de Valois
In 1903 two nuns were invited by Bishop (later Archbishop) Isley of
Birmingham Mere Louise, to Kidderminster on 16th June 1903 to investigate
the possibilities of opening a Convent and school.
Sister Marie de Valois and Sister Marguerite de Jesus took out a seven
year lease on Elderslie, a large house with a park, lawns and huge
The nuns brought a touch of foreign fascination to Kidderminster and
Margaret Phelan, who began at the Convent in 1931, recalls her mother
and her aunts speaking of the popularity of walks along the Birmingham
Road as people hoped for a glimpse of the newly-arrived nuns speaking
in a strange language.
Adults, however, as well as children, were able to take advantage
of teaching at the Convent – an advertisement of 1912 offers classes
in conversational French for adults.
In 1908, a contract was signed between M Adam and the Order stating
that they could continue renting until 1910 and then buy the property.
The nun's leave
In December 1985, The Trinitarian Order announced that they were unable
to continue the school as the headmistress was well into her seventies
and that there had been no new vocations from the school for quite
a number of years; they wished to use their funds to enable The Order
to continue its good works overseas.
at the school
nuns left Elderslie in July 1986 and went to live in a house in
Imperial Avenue, Kidderminster. They still continued their charitable
work. In 1990 they moved to the Convent at Bromley to be cared for
in their old age. So ended the Trinitarian Order connection with
However, the parents and lay staff didn't want the school to close
and formed a committee to raise the finances to buy the property.
They registered the school with the Charities Commission and appointed
the first lay Head, Mrs Butwilowska, and (September 1986 to May
1990) followed by Mrs Susanne Bell (May 1990 until December 1996).
The school name was changed to Holy Trinity School – an independent
school with charitable status, governed by a board of Trustees.
current headmistress Mrs Elizabeth Thomas, (1997 to August 2003),
will be retiring at the end of this academic year and will be succeeded
by Mrs Yvonne Wilkinson in September.
new Millennium saw the appointment of a business development manger
and a forward thinking and active Trustee body, under the leadership
of Mr Malcolm Owen, continues to give the school positive support
recent years Holy Trinity has gained Investor in People status,
the National Sports Mark and most recently the Early Years Gold
Award from the Birmingham partnership.
school maintains a top position in the government league tables
for GCSE and A level and continues to retain its top position within
the Wyre Forest district.
their Centenary, the school is not only looking back and celebrating
their history, they are also looking forward and are focused on
the challenges ahead as they begin a new century.
you have memories of the school or want to go to the event of
the 5th of July the contact Mrs Maggie Skinner on 01562 822929.