On Friday 9th October, the School celebrated the life and gift of our Founder, John Lyon at St Mary's Church, Harrow on the Hill. Reverend James Power welcomed three groups of students to St Mary's, to "their church". We enjoyed three separate celebrations, spaced out in order allow for social distancing. The Pride of Lyons choir, who will very much miss other opportunities this year to sing in public, sang beautiful performances including O Come Ye Servants of the Lord (see video below). Reverend Power retold the story of the Founder for the new Year 7 pupils and gave a reminder to older ones of John Lyon's enduring gift and influence, not only in Harrow but reaching out to the seven London Boroughs which still benefit from his estates:
Born in the fifth year of the reign of Henry VIII, 1514, John Lyon was a local landowner and farmer. During his lifetime, it is believed he supported a small school based at St Mary's, where he worshipped. Having large estates and no children, he and his wife left their vast fortune in trust for the provision of education for local children and the maintenance of the Harrow and Edgeware roads to London. Over four centuries on, this bequest has endowed John Lyon School, Harrow School and John Lyon's Charity. Of the Schools, much is known. Perhaps less well known is John Lyon's Charity. This excellent charity disperses its income, formally used to maintain the roads, to services for children, to promote life-chances through education. It has made grants worth over £130 million since 1991. (For more information about John Lyon's Charity, click here
For this extraordinary legacy, we gave thanks, and paused to remember and celebrated it.
Normally on Founder's Day, we would welcome back many Old Lyonians to share in a service at St Mary's and a feast-day lunch back at School. So sadly this year, we were unable to share the day together but we hope all Lyonians will enjoy listening to the Pride of Lyons choir singing "O Come Ye Servants of the Lord" by Christopher Tye, written in 1553 and a fitting Tudor anthem for the great Tudor John Lyon.