Priest leads prayers against closure

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
HAVING souls is demanding enough for most vicars. But Father Kesh Govan has taken upon himself the additional role of saving schools.

After successfully campaigning to prevent the closure of Oldhams county primary in Bolton last year, the 34-year-old priest is now leading a last-ditch fight to rescue a threatened community school in a deprived area of Manchester.

Furious at Salford Council's plans to shut Little Hulton school, which has just undergone pound;4 million worth of improvements, he has tirelessly rounded up more than 400 locals to join him in his crusade.

They are petitioning the rest of the community and staging a peaceful march against proposals to merge the 500-pupil secondary with nearby Joseh Eastham high after inspectors told the local authority to reduce surplus places from 18 per cent to 8.

The Rev Govan said: "As a vicar, everyone in Little Hulton is my responsibility , including children.

"We are in one of the most deprived parts of the country with few amenities for young people and so the school really is the heart of the area. We will therefore fight to the end until its future is safe."

Lynda Cairns, the school's chair of governors, said: " Father Kesh has already helped to save one school and we are praying he can do it again."

A council spokeswoman confirmed that closure notices had been issued and that a decision would be made in April following consultations.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today