DIRECTOR of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale Paul Velten and the Catholic Bishop of Sale Most Reverend Greg Bennet have issued an update to their school and parish community on the project to investigate future use of Sion Convent and campus site in Sale.

The project is still in the preliminary proposal stage and subject to further development and regulatory approval, however investigation work is progressing and more detailed concept plans have been developed.

The Our Lady of Sion Convent building in Sale is a local landmark with historical significance for Catholics, the Catholic education community, and the broader community in Sale. The site became vacant in November 2020 following the formal relocation of the Catholic College Sale Junior campus.

In their last report in December 2022, Mr Velten and Bishop Bennet announced that a Preliminary Proposed Masterplan had commenced to thoroughly investigate the possibilities of transforming the historic site into a state-of-the-art education facility while preserving its rich history.

Since then, extensive work has continued behind the scenes. The appointment of a heritage advisor has been made along with the appointment of consultant specialists in various fields such as structural and civil engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, building surveying, landscape architecture, acoustic engineering, and quantity surveying. A specialist slate installer has been engaged to inspect the condition of the existing welsh slates and a three-dimensional scan of the existing convent has been undertaken to better inform design decisions.

Consultations have been undertaken with staff at St Thomas’ Primary School, Sale and the Sisters of Sion, which will continue.

As a result of this work, the architects have now moved into the detailed design phase, which considers in far greater detail the impact of design and engineering decisions on the Convent and surrounding site. They have also commenced engagement with Town Planning.

In a joint statement, Bishop Bennet and Mr Velten said redeveloping the Sion site for St Thomas’ Primary School would ensure that the 125-year tradition of Catholic education in this location continues.

“St Thomas’ Primary School was led by the Sion Sisters when it opened 50 years ago so that connection would be strengthened,” they said.

“We look forward to providing updates to our parish and school communities through the planning phase as we progress investigations into continuing the 125-year tradition of Catholic education on this historic site.”

For concept drawings by the architects, head to