S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia

Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia (STC) is a selective entry boys’ private Anglican school providing primary and secondary education in Sri Lanka. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious schools in the country and its former pupils include four former Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka.Thomas’ College was founded by the first Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Rev. James Chapman, D. D. It was his foremost vision to build a College & Cathedral for the new Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon. Thus on 3 February 1851 the College of St .Thomas the Apostle, Colombo was opened with the objective of training a Christian Clergy and to make Children good citizens under the discipline & supervision of Christianity.


The College which is under the Anglican Church of Ceylon, is run by a Board of Governors which is chaired by the Anglican Bishop of Colombo, who is also known as the “Visitor of the College”. The administration of the College itself is headed by a warden. Admission to the College is at the sole discretion of the warden.


  • Thomas’ College, Bandarawela
  • Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa
  • Thomas’ Preparatory School




S.Thomas’ College dates back to 1851 when it was founded in Mutwal as the College of St .Thomas the Apostle, Colombo. The Rt. Rev. James Chapman, the first Bishop of Colombo, started the school to train Christian clergy and “to make children good citizens under the discipline and supervision of Christianity”. An old boy of Eton College, Bishop Chapman founded the college on the Etonian model, and even borrowed the school motto, Esto Perpetua from the prestigious English Public School. In 1852 Bishop Chapman laid the foundation stone of the college chapel on a hill in the school grounds. The chapel became Christ Church Cathedral of the Colombo Diocese of the Church of Ceylon when it was dedicated on 21 September 1854.

Mount Lavinia

In 1918, the school moved away from the “dusty environs” of Mutwal, which was near the Colombo harbour, to a more picturesque location near the sea in Mount Lavinia. Here, on 13 October 1923, the foundation stone for what would become The Chapel of the Transfiguration was laid by the Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Ernest Arthur Copleston, and the chapel was completed on 12 February 1927, when it was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Mark Carpenter-Garnier, Bishop of Colombo.  In 1968, well known Sri Lankan artist David Paynter completed his mural of the Transfiguration of Jesus upon the interior of the East wall of the chapel, which included a then unusual “beardless Christ”. In 1951, S. Thomas’ became a private fee-levying school.


  • S. Thomas’ College, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka.
  • +94 11 2712270



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