St Francis Xavier College celebrates 175th anniversary

Honouring Woolton school’s vast history

St Francis Xavier’s College (SFX) in Woolton has marked its 175th anniversary with a celebration Mass for students, parents, families and staff.

The Mass was celebrated at the College Chapel – and was followed by a buffet and the opportunity to view an art and photography exhibition showcasing the creative talents of SFX pupils.

SFX’s history dates back to 1842 when it was established by the Society of Jesus. It was named after the patron saint of missionaries and one of the founders of the Jesuit order, St Francis Xavier.

Over the years, the college has occupied several sites in Liverpool including Soho Street, St Anne Street and Salisbury Street. In 1961 it took over its current site on Woolton Hill Road. In 1974 the trusteeship of
SFX was transferred from the Jesuits to the Brothers of Christian Instruction. 

The anniversary celebration, held before the summer holiday on 18 July, also marked the retirement of executive headteacher Les Rippon. He said: ‘It’s important that we celebrate the school’s heritage and that every student understands its vast history. This really helps to create a sense of pride among the year groups. Our assistant headteacher, Peter Evans, even designed a dedicated 175-years tie which students have been proudly wearing.’

On his retirement, Mr Rippon added: ‘I’ve had a wonderful 37 years with SFX. Seeing thousands of
students benefit from a strong and varied curriculum, over this period of time, is what makes this job so