SCHOOL pupils will remain tight-lipped when they bid to raise cash to create a lasting memorial to a much-loved parish priest.
Youngsters at St William’s RCVA Primary School are taking part in a sponsored silence in memory of Hartlepool-born Father John Caden, who died in February aged 89.
Father Caden, who was instrumental in the school being built in Trimdon Village – for which he was a governor – served Sedgefield’s St John Fisher RC Church for 55 years.
The fundraising event is being held next month and it is hoped the money raised will be used to buy two benches to be placed in the school, one each in the infant and junior playgrounds.
It is also hoped to put up a plaque in memory of Father Caden, who was known as Jack.
The idea to create the memorial to the priest came from the school council, which is made up of pupils from each class who meet to discuss issues important to the school and its pupils.
Headteacher Kate Ellis said: “We were very proud of the children for coming up with the idea of a bench of reflection in memory of Father Caden.
“It shows their fondness for him and how much he meant to the children. He was a large part of St William’s Primary School and this is a lovely way to remember him.”
Around 500 people attended Father Caden’s funeral at St Edmund’s Church, in Sedgefield, for the service, led by Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
They included former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, along with Mr Blair’s former agent John Burton.
Father Caden baptised all of Mr Blair and his wife’s children and was a keen sportsman who played tennis with the form Sedgefield MP.
The fundraising event is being held on Monday, April 29.