Immanuel College was born out of opportunities created by the re-organisation of Bradford
schools from three tiers to two tiers around the new millennium. It was the first ever
Voluntary Aided Church of England Secondary school to be built in Bradford Diocese.
The first cut was made in the ground on December 5th 1999 using a ceremonial spade. The
spade was wielded by the then Bishop of Bradford, The Right Revd David Smith.
Later, a foundation stone was laid on the 4th April 2000 when the Bishop was joined by the
Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Harry Mason. This stone is now part of the wall in our
Building work then progressed speedily, allowing some of the thousand students to
occupy part of the building (B Block mainly) at the beginning of the new term. The rest
of the students (Key Stage 4) were housed in a closed Middle School in Idle. This was an
interesting time of ‘making do’ with the younger students all squeezed into B Block: eating
lunch in classrooms which had to be turned into teaching spaces immediately afterwards.
The older students at the old Thorpe Middle building were equally having to use less than
ideal facilities designed for much younger children.
Eventually, the whole school building was completed. The process from inception to
completion had taken 24 months. On the 5th October 2001, the Archbishop of York, the Most
Revd David Hope, in front of the TV cameras and the press, opened the school and released
hundreds of balloons carrying prayers of hope from Immanuel students.
Since that time, over three and a half thousand students have joined the Immanuel family:
the family whose name means, ‘God with us’.
The building was finished but the challenge of building futures for our young people had just
begun. This process is now established and seeing increasing success. The second decade of
Immanuel’s life has started. The College goes from strength to strength. The building is now
being upgraded and renewed with exciting plans for the future. But all of this work is built on
the original Bible verse on the foundation stone:
‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’.