Diocese of Portsmouth

    Bishop visits C of E academy

    26 Feb. 2015

    BISHOP Christopher visited a Church of England academy in Warsash - leading two assemblies and meeting staff, pupils and governors.

    The bishop shows pupils some of the special clothes a bishop wears during an assembly

    Talking to pupils at Hook-with-Warsash C of E Academy

    The bishop spent the morning at Hook-with-Warsash C of E Academy in Church Road, Warsash. It was his first visit since the school had converted to an academy in 2012.

    He led assemblies for both infant and junior pupils, explaining how the special clothes that a bishop wears point people towards God. He showed them the wooden cross he wears around his neck to remind people of what Jesus did, and the mitre he wears on his head, which symbolises God’s Holy Spirit. He heard children singing and praying as part of their collective worship.

    Bishop Christopher was able to spend some time beforehand with headteacher Sara Willoughby and school governors, talking about the advantages and challenges of academy status. And he was keen to hear about the school’s values of Love, Independence, Growth, Happiness and Trust (LIGHT), which have become deeply embedded into the life and ethos of the school.

    After the two assemblies, he visited pupils in their classrooms, where he was keen to see their work and talk to them about how much they enjoy school life. For more photos, click here.

    Bishop Christopher said: “This is a delightful school, and I can see how the Christian values of love and trust have permeated every aspect of school life. The children are a credit to their families and teachers, and the school staff are working incredibly hard to give them the best education they can.”

    And headteacher Sara Willoughby said: “It was a real honour to welcome Bishop Christopher to our school. The pupils were so excited about meeting him and  were eager to ask him lots of questions about his role in the Church. They would have liked to spend more time talking to him, we are looking forward to welcoming him again in the future."

    The many links between the C of E academy and St Mary’s Church – which is just across the road – include the fact that the chairman of governors Peter Upward is a churchwarden, and one of the vicars, the Rev Mike Terry, as well as several of the congregation, are also governors. Worshippers are among those who help to lead assemblies at the school.