End of an era at All Hallows

By Ben McMullen

‘It is a huge responsibility to be a teacher and to be trusted to “shape” young lives and I hope that
when you look back on your time here it will be with fondness and a real sense that we genuinely
looked out for you and cared for you.’

This was Chris Riding’s parting message to the pupils of All Hallows Catholic High School, Penwortham, when he stepped down as head teacher in the summer – a message that captured the essence of his 12 years’ service to the school.

During his time as head, All Hallows was graded ‘Outstanding’ in Ofsted inspections in 2007 and 2013 – and received the same accolade three times from Liverpool Archdiocese. Individual recognition came when he was named a ‘National Leader in Education’.

Mr Riding, who had previously been head at St Bede’s Catholic High School, Lytham, bequeathed an
impressive legacy to his successor, Chris Horrocks, including a new sports hall and all-weather pitch,
new Science labs, and a flourishing Performing Arts Department.

He was a teacher, moreover, who never lost his enthusiasm for working with pupils, teaching a Year
11 English Language and Literature class each year.

He lived out the Gospel in the school community through his words and actions, and the thanksgiving Mass to mark his retirement – held in a packed school sports hall – highlighted his popularity as his wife Gayle and their three sons were joined by pupils, parents, staff, governors and friends of the school, past and present.