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11th February 2022

This week's message from Andrew Teale, Diocesan Director of Education 

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Oxford for the twice yearly gathering of Diocesan Directors of Education. Colleagues from almost every diocese were present. From Leeds to Rochester. Ely to Bristol. York to St Albans. Hereford to Newcastle (we’ll come back to that last one).
Our time in Oxford concluded with a Eucharist in Christ College Cathedral. I had not visited before, but it seemed very familiar to someone who has watched a fair few episodes of Inspector Morse.
Following the service, a wonderful guide furnished us with fascinating information about a few points of interest inside the historic building. We had a detailed look at the shrine of St Frideswide, the Saxon princess who became the Patron Saint of Oxford. Carved in 1289, the shrine had been destroyed during the reformation and was rediscovered in pieces down a well in the 19th Century, including some exquisite carving. Our guide described the process of various stages of restoration, which were all impressive. Although, the shrine is still nowhere near as ornate and colourful as it would have originally been when it still contained its saintly relics, it remains a significant focal point within the Christ Church Cathedral, both for the University and for the city of Oxford.
“Is anyone here from Hereford?” our guide asked.
I felt like I was back in school as I raised my hand. He explained that there are very few examples now in existence which illustrate what this type of shrine would have once looked like. A visit to the shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe, in Hereford Cathedral is apparently one of the very best places in England to see a medieval shrine restored to its full former glory.
I often stop to pray at the shrine of St Thomas Cantilupe and I do recommend it as a great spot for a private prayer moment. I’ve visited many times, especially when I’m particularly worried about a school situation. It is a beautiful part of the cathedral, but I had not realised it was such a fine and rare example. I will appreciate it even more from now on.
Our focus for the time DDEs and Church of England education officers spent together in Oxford was the passage of scripture below and it holds true for teachers and headteachers just as much as for DDEs:
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Corinthians 12

Some DDEs have been headteachers, some clergy. Some have a detailed knowledge of the DBE measure, some favour land and buildings. Some are SIAMS experts while some have strong governance expertise. Some are MAT CEOs and DDEs. All have expertise on their own local context, and all have a least one cathedral they know very well, back at base

 Click here to continue to read Andrew's message.

Book your Place on the First Hereford Diocese Schools' Carbon Zero Forum 

Following the headteachers' briefing mentioned in Andrew's message, all agreed it would be very beneficial to share ideas and discuss the support church schools need to help reach the carbon zero target by 2030. Our first forum will be Wednesday 2nd March 2022, between 3.30 - 4.30pm.  Please forward this invitation to everyone involved in energy saving initiatives in your school community, the more participants we have the more creative we can be!  Please use this link to book your place.

Church School Governors Online Termly Briefing
8th March 2022: 5.00 - 6.00pm

All church school governors, academy directors and local governing board members are invited to our termly update to receive the latest developments in governance for church schools and understand how they will impact the role of the governing board.  We hope to welcome representatives from all of the church school governing boards in the Diocese.  Thank you to those who have already been in touch, there's still plenty of time - please use this link to book your place.

Forthcoming Diocesan Online Training & Development Highlights

SIAMS Training and Support

RE & Christian Ethos Governance

If you would like to talk through any of the support and training on offer from the Education Team, please contact us via email at or call on  07539 372748.

Collective Worship Video 

Sharing Skills : Mercy Ships
In next week’s worship video, we learn about the work of ‘Mercy Ships’, huge hospital ships staffed by medics who volunteer to share their skills to provide medical treatment and training for countries with health poverty. We reflect on our own skills and how we can use these to help others in our communities too. The take away worship sheet has further ideas for prayer and reflection for both home and school.
If you would like your school community to benefit from our weekly Collective Worship Videos, please contact the Education Team at or call on 07539 372748 and we can talk through the Partnership Agreement options available to you.

Collective Worship Corner...

Pupil Led Worship and a COMPETITION!!

The Education Team is working on a project to provide a training guide for pupils leading worship, and would like your help. We would love to use photographs of collective worship from across our schools showing pupils involvement. These will need permission to be shared beyond school, as they may be used in the final course materials.  Please email your high quality photos or a link to download them.

All schools who contribute photos will be entered into a draw to win a free copy of the primary RE resource book Inspirational People’ (RE Today).  The competition deadline is 4.00pm, 25th March 2022
In the meantime, The ‘Faith in the Nexus’ project based at NICER have recorded a webinar exploring research into  ‘Spiritual leadership by children in church primary school pupils.’ You can watch the recording here:

New Collective Worship Resources from iSing Pop
iSingPop have produced a new resource that could be used by churches and/or school as a follow up to their recording projects and classroom worship videos.

 ‘The Pop Box’ can easily be used by pupils to involve them in leading worship using online videos for songs, Bible stories, discussion points, prayer, craft and games too. As well as the online content, there are guidance cards to be used by those leading the worship and it  includes coloured crosses to match the colours of the church year.  With 18 songs included, a story book and 12 worship plans (24 if using for church and school worship) it is a great resource for building bridges between church and school, as well as for equipping pupil worship leaders.

Way Maker – Lent Materials from ABYYT 
Way Maker takes pupils on a journey through Lent, reflecting on Jesus’ ministry and his example of being a 'Way Maker' and serving others. The 6 sessions help pupils to explore what it means to be: servant hearted, compassionate, accepting, bold, forgiving and a light in the darkness. Way Maker helps pupils consider what these examples mean for their own lives and the practical actions they can take to become way makers in their community. This resource can be used in the classroom or in collective worship. Challenges can be done individually or as a group or class.

Watch the introduction video to the resource, to find out more. Sign up here to download the resources:

RE Government Funding
Next month there is a roundtable session scheduled for MPs to meet with national Religious Education bodies to discuss the funding of Religious Education in all schools and specifically the lack of specialist training for new teacher. One of our local  SACREs (Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education) has provided a letter template for parents to send to their local MP to request that they attend the session to represent their views on this issue that you may wish to pass on.  
Andrew Teale's Message Continued...

In leading on education policy across the 42 dioceses of the Church of England, we try to act as one body. Only when we do this can we achieve large scale changes such as the move to a national SIAMs administration, in order to reduce regional inconsistencies. Each diocese, as its own legal authority, certainly has very different contexts, a different character, different gifts, yet we are all united in faith and in core purpose, in ensuring that we deliver an education for every child which enables them to flourish in order to live a life in all its fulness. We can translate that same unity across our own diocese, with all 78 schools that say ‘Church of England’ above the door. All very different, with varying contexts and communities, but united in name and in purpose. Deeply Christian, serving the common good for every single family in their care.
4th Sunday before Lent
O God,
you know us to be set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
grant to us such strength and protection
as may support us in all dangers
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Some of you may like to know that I was fortunate enough to sit with the DDE from the Diocese of Newcastle, Paul Ricard, for lunch in Oxford on Monday. Surprisingly, he seemed completely unaware that last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Hereford United beating Newcastle United in the FA cup in 1972. Anxious that such an important anniversary didn’t go unnoticed and, given that a number of my family members were at the game (along with most of Herefordshire), I was anxious to remind my esteemed colleague from Newcastle of all the details, which I’m sure he greatly enjoyed (Even the DDE from Oxford knew who Ronny Radford was).
I would be grateful for your prayers today. I’m heading to Stoke for a meeting with education minister (Minister for the School System) Baroness Barran and our Regional Schools Commissioner (Andrew Warren). We will be discussing the forthcoming white paper and its implications for the education system in our region.
Thank you for all your incredible efforts in schools this week. One more to go, and then a chance for a breather will again be at hand.
Blessings and best wishes for a restful weekend.
Kind regards,
Canon Andrew Teale
Diocesan Director of Education


For further information and updates from the wider Diocese please see the regular bulletins issued by the central communications team.

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