More than 1,000 people packed a Leyland church to pledge their support for a school community devastated by fire.
Former staff and pupils joined new and existing members of St Mary’s Catholic Technology College for mass at the nearby St Mary’s RC Church.
Among them was former headteacher Mike Wright and his predecessor Frank Harrison, now 95 years old.
Current head Kathy McNicholas was overwhelmed by the response, and said: “The church was absolutely jammed to the rafters.”
She added the Royal Avenue school usually held a voluntary mass on Tuesday morning and sent out an open invitation for other pupils to join in.
Mrs McNicholas added: “We anticipated a few more but it was standing room only at the back. “
She was overwhelmed to see around three quarters of the children wearing school uniform – including ex-pupils who wore their ties over their own clothes – showing a mark of solidarity to the school.
Staff from other schools and colleges also attended the service, which was conducted by Bishop Tom Williams from Liverpool.
The previous day Archbishop Patrick Kelly took mass for staff.
Mrs McNicholas said she has been inundated with messages of support from across the local and wider community.
She added: “I have had some absolutely incredible support, including messages at the mass.”
Personal messages were sent from as far afield as Australia, and the USA.
The headteacher paid tribute to support from both people associated with and outside of the school as well as emergency services .
A meeting will be held at the end of the week to discuss the short term education of pupils