Worthing high school renamed for fourth time

A Worthing high school has ushered in a new era with its fourth name change in less than 70 years.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 12:38 pm

The school formerly known as Chatsmore Catholic High School officially became St Oscar Romero Catholic School on Thursday (September 10) after an 18-month process.

As the only school in the diocese not named after a saint, leaders decided it was time for a change.

Head teacher Pete Byrne said: “I am extremely proud to be the head teacher of St Oscar Romero Catholic School; not only are we the first and only Catholic school in the country to adopt St Oscar Romero as our patron, but our new name also recognises the incredible journey the school has been on for the last three years, culminating in our diocesan inspection which rated the school ‘Outstanding’ in every category and record breaking GCSE results.”

Chatsmore Catholic High School is changing its name to St Oscar Romero Catholic School. Pic Steve Robards SR2009103 SUS-201009-121245001
Chatsmore Catholic High School is changing its name to St Oscar Romero Catholic School. Pic Steve Robards SR2009103 SUS-201009-121245001

Oscar Romero was archbishop of San Salvador, the capital of South American county El Salvador, and dedicated his life to opposing military action in the country.

After receiving multiple death threats Oscar was shot dead in the middle of mass on March 24, 1980, bringing to a close three tumultuous years as archbishop.

The latest name change is the school’s fourth, starting out in 1957 as St Mary’s Catholic Secondary Modern School, before changing to Blessed Robert Southwell two years later and then to Chatsmore Catholic High School in 1973.

Thursday’s launch day began with an outdoor mass which included a talk by Julian Filochowski, chairman of the Archbishop Romero Trust and a personal friend of Oscar Romero.

Julian also presented the school with a sculpture of the late saint.

Students then engaged in workshops on El Salvadorian history and culture, as well as Oscar Romero’s life.