Our school was named after St Richard of Chichester. He was born in 1197 and despite both his parents dying and his brother being sent to debtor’s prison, managed to study for the priesthood at Oxford University.
He was very successful and after working in France, was made Chancellor of Oxford University in 1235. One of his old teachers, Edmund of Abingdon, who we know as St Edmund, had become Archbishop of Canterbury. Richard shared many of Edmund's views on church reform and they became close friends.
Two years later, Edmund made him Chancellor of the Diocese of Canterbury. Richard even followed his friend when he was exiled to France. When Edmund died in 1240, he returned to England as a parish
priest for Charing and Deal.. It did not take long before he took up his old post of Chancellor of Canterbury. He was elected to Bishop of Chichester in 1244 but King Henry III refused to accept his position until 1245.
As a Bishop he dedicated St Edmund's Chapel at Dover to his friend. In fact, St Edmund’s Chapel is the only chapel dedicated by one English saint to another. St Richard died at the Maison Dieu (the old Town Hall building in Dover) at midnight on 3 April 1253 and is said to have lived a frugal life, wearing sack cloth, not eating meat and distributing his wealth to the poor.
St Richard is often shown as a Bishop with a chalice on its side at his feet because he once dropped the chalice during a mass and nothing spilled from it. One of the tiles designed by the children on the front of our school shows the upside down St Richard's Chalice.