St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School

Press Release

Friday 11th February 2022


Time Capsule Burying Ceremony for New Build

Students have buried a time capsule on the City Way site of the St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School new build.

Today, students at St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School buried a time capsule to honour the school’s past while celebrating the future opportunities offered by the new build.

Students selected the contents of the time capsule, choosing current photos of the Maidstone Road site and others dating back to the completion of the site on Ordnance Street, as well as mementos of the world we live in now: school uniform, a crucifix to celebrate our Catholic heritage, a copy of this week’s Medway Messenger front cover and letters from the students of today to those of tomorrow.

The new build on City Way is led by Wates Group and backed by the Department for Education, and made possible with the donation of the land from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. Expected to open by Spring 2023 at the latest, it will bring all pupils at SJF together as a single community for the first time. Parents, carers and staff (some of whom were pupils at SJF themselves in former years) are thrilled that our students will have the outstanding facilities they deserve.

Situated at the top of the hill between Chatham and Rochester, with inspiring views looking out across the River Medway, the new build will benefit from a wide range of teaching spaces, including Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA) pitches, state-of the-art computer labs, a library, specialist sixth form facilities, a kiln room and an architecturally-designed chapel with stained glass surround. These facilities will be shared with the wider community outside of school hours. A video of the proposed design is available to view on our website at

Headteacher Dympna Lennon said:

“St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School has a proud heritage of educating Medway’s children for almost sixty years. While I am as excited as our students to be moving to purpose-built facilities, today’s ceremony was an important opportunity to celebrate the history of the St. John Fisher family and remember the many thousands of students educated on both school sites.”

Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said:

“A time capsule is a fantastic way to honour the school’s history and celebrate its future. The new school building will enable the school to come together as one and improve the learning environment for pupils. The new school also supports our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City. I look forward to watching the works progress.”

Dr Simon Hughes, Director of Education for the Archdiocese of Southwark, said:

“The burying of a time capsule in the surrounds of this fantastic new development is a symbolic linking of the past glories of St John Fisher School to its future opportunities. We are delighted that between ourselves, the leadership, the governors and the Department for Education, we have been able to pull this project together to enable the staff and pupils to have a building of which they can be proud and in which they can teach and learn to the best of their abilities. We are grateful for the co-operation of Medway Council in making this happen.”

Richard Shroll, Regional Managing Director at Wates Construction said:

“We’re delighted to have been given the chance to build the new school and be part of this school’s history. Everything we do at Wates is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities, and businesses of tomorrow and I have no doubt the students at St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School will be overjoyed by their new facilities.”

About the Wates Group


The Wates Group, established in 1897, is one of the leading privately-owned construction, residential development, and property services businesses in the UK.  We employ approximately 3,700 people and work with a wide range of public and private sector customers and partners.  Everything we do is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities, and businesses of tomorrow.  Now in its fourth generation of family ownership, the Wates Group is committed to the long-term sustainability of the built environment and is working to eliminate carbon from its operations by 2025.  To fulfil our ambition to be a truly inclusive employer and to reflect the richness of the communities in which it is our privilege to work, we are committed to doubling the proportion of women at all levels of our business, encouraging more people with disabilities to work in our sector and to becoming more ethnically diverse.  In 2021 we won the award for Private Sector Leadership at the National Social Value Awards. 

Visit us at:


Additional enquiries can be directed to Senior Deputy Headteacher, Mr. McCaughan, on