Charter Day

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Charter Day is an annual celebration held to commemorate the granting of the school charter in 1555. It takes place in St Botolph's Church, and is attended by the entire school along with alumni and guests. The service includes readings, music performances and the singing of Floreat Bostona.


1955 marked the 400th anniversary of the granting of the school charter. To mark the occasion, a service was held at St Botolph's Church on Monday 17 January 1955. This was the forerunner of the Charter Day service, which has been held annually ever since.

You can find the order of service for the 1956 event on the original OBA website.


In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to hold the traditional service at St Botolph's. In its place the school released a number of videos.

Head teacher John McHenry began "Welcome to Boston Grammar School's Charter Day Service of 2020. Obviously today it's a very different service to the one we would normally have. Clearly in the past we would be walking across into the Stump for our service, but that's not possible under the current circumstances. As you could appreciate it is essential though that we do mark this traditional day in the normal way as far as we possibly can and so it has to involve... it must involve the whole school, so we are using a virtual approach and clearly as far as we can we are making sure that the school's history is properly marked and remembered.

"The Charter Day service itself is based on the charter that was given to the school in 1555 by William (sic - it should be Philip) and Mary and they obviously allowed for lands and houses to be used for the benefit of the school at that time and the local corporation took on the running of the grammar school which had originally existed in the 14th century in Wormgate next to the Stump."

The service continued with readings by staff and students. Harvey Potter, teacher of History and RE at BGS, and formerly a student and Head Boy at the school spoke of how he had to adapt through his school years, into sixth form and university. Current Head Boy Sam Wilson and Head Girl Sandra Bielik also spoke on the subject of adaptability.

Finally Revd Alyson Buxton, Vicar of St Botolph's, gave an address and blessing.


Year Preacher
1955 Canon E K Ellis (Vicar of St Botolph's)
... ...
1972 Sidney D Woods (headmaster Philip Johnston's former headmaster at Barnard Castle School)
... ...
2000 Revd Alyson Buxton (Vicar of St Botolph's - virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

See Also