View this email in your browser


24th June 2022

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

What if we had a time machine?
Our knowledge of the life of Jesus Christ, has been passed from generation to generation for more than two thousand years of human history. Initially this was done by retelling the stories He told by word of mouth. Eventually, they were written down from different perspectives. The Gospel texts and the whole of the New Testament came into being and was added to older texts to give us the single most published book in human history. The Bible, which is more like a library than a single book. For centuries this was only accessible to a few scholars who decode the marks on the page into languages that could be understood by larger groups of people. People gathered to hear these stories and share the good news they brought. These gatherings became The Church. Discussion, debate, councils, disagreement, modification, edits, retelling, translation, retranslation, separation, branches, variation, traditions.
It was fairly recent technological advances that allowed the high volume printing of text, that meant everyone could eventually own their own copy of the Bible and read it for themselves and apply its teachings to their own individual lives. The problem then was most people couldn’t read the Bibles that were becoming available, even if they were translated into their own language. How does a society fix that problem? Education.  200 years ago, most people in England would not have been able to read. We can trace our own ancestors back that far with relative ease through the latest genealogy software. Most of mine from that period signed their names on the 1841 census or an early marriage certificate with a spidery x, revealing  their inability to read or to write. They were agricultural labourers and millers of corn not clerics or academics.
In spite of these incredible challenges, somehow we have managed to continue to pass the teachings of Jesus Christ through the centuries to the generations that are growing up in 2022. Far more children in this country at least, are taught to read for themselves (although not yet all). This is a fundamental key to their flourishing, as we all know. So, is the knowledge of this two thousand year old, world changing, teaching more widely understood or at least known than it was is past centuries? I fear not. We now have other, arguably greater obstacles than illiteracy, which block the sharing to the good news and prevent the opportunity for an encounter with God. In short, there are so many bright lights to choose from. So much competition for people’s time. So much more available. So much more interference and white noise. The dangers of the multi-generation chain finally breaking seem greater than ever.
If only we had a time machine. If we just had a way to go back 200 years or so, we could create new schools with a religious character that could let every child in the community hear and understand the life-changing truth that Jesus brought to humanity. Imagine if, in every diocese, there were schools that were masters at teaching the next generation what Jesus said and did, so they could use this teaching to enrich their own lives and the society of their own generation. They could be fully inclusive places which value all God’s children and serve children and families of all faith and those that haven’t found faith at all. They could be places filled with love and care but more than that, which pass on the traditions and teaching from one generation to the next. Does anyone have a time machine? A DeLorean that can take us back in time when it reaches 88 miles per hour, perhaps?

 Click here to continue to read Andrew's message.

Church of England Energy Footprint Tool Submission Deadline is Today! 

The deadline to submit your data on the Energy Footprint Tool (EFT) is today, Friday 24th June 2022.  Thank you to those who have already submitted their data, it is a simple and quick process and is a request from the National Church of England Office.

If you have any questions or need any help with the EFT, please do get in touch with the Education Team 

Not long now until our Summer Term - Headteachers' & Chairs' Gathering - book your place!
All Headteachers and Chairs of Governors have been warmly invited to our end of term gathering in the Great Hall at The Palace, in Hereford at 3.00 - 5.00pm on Monday 11th July 2022.

The afternoon will include a short end of year briefing session in the Great Hall followed by light refreshments, which we hope to take in Bishop Richard's garden, if the sun decides to shine upon us!  To reserve your place please follow the link and complete our booking form. 
We very much look forward to seeing you.

Forthcoming Diocesan Online Training & Development Highlights

SIAMS Training and Support


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.

We are currently developing our training schedule for 2022-2023, if you wish to indicate your church school training needs in advance, please do email the Education Team advising the type of training/support you would like and if it is for school leaders, staff or governors.  
GONE FISHING: Collective Worship

Many churches will be celebrating the life of St Peter next week. But how did it all begin for him? In the worship video Mark helps us to reflect upon how Simon Peter’s first meeting with Jesus (Luke 5:1-11) began a transformational journey for him from fisherman to church leader.

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.
Picturing Islam & Picturing Muslims
A highly recommended resource exploring both British and global Islam from RE Today: click here for more information about the resource bundle.
Andrew Teale's Message Continued...
Sadly, we can’t achieve time travel just yet. So what a blessing it is that Joshua Watson and his 1811 contemporaries had the foresight to see how important Church of England schools might become. We never quite achieved the objective of one in every parish, but we did get to 12000 schools in the first hundred years. We have about 4500 still. One in every four primary schools in England is a CE school. 1 in 20 of our secondaries. 78 of those are in the Bishop of Hereford’s Diocese and many of these sit on a foundation which is almost 200 years old. Our diocese treasures its CE schools and recognises their importance to the future of the church as well as to the village communities they serve. We held a special Choral Evensong in the Cathedral this week, which demonstrated this very clearly.
Our Diocesan Board of Education was reconstituted in January and we wanted to hold a small service of blessing for the new board. For the work that they do and the valuable time that they each give to shaping the strategy for our CE schools in the context of a rapidly changing national education system. I thought the service illustrated perfectly, just how important our Church Schools are in the grand scheme of this to one of the oldest dioceses in England. As well as the diocesan board and its officers, the service was conducted by +Richard, 106th Bishop of Hereford, Archdeacon Fiona Gibson who is the Chair of our Board of Education, The Dean of Hereford Cathedral, Sarah Brown as well as the full Cathedral Choir who sang like angels. It was very clear, just how important education is viewed in this diocese and how much the work in every school is valued and appreciated. The presence of God in that place felt very clear to me and I felt deeply thankful for the work that put me there.
Help us to do work for a better world,
Where the young are given the chance to flourish,
Where to poor's dream for justice can come true,
And where God's compassion is shown to be real


Adapted from the prayer to Saint John Bosco
Thank you for all you are doing in schools across our beautiful diocese with three remaining weeks of the academic year. The extended exam season is almost at a close, but our schools of all shapes and sizes remain as busy as ever. Trips and concerts and reports and leavers services and all kinds of valuable (but stressful) service yet to give with a shrinking reserve of time and energy from which to draw. You are all in the thoughts and prayers of this diocese which values your vocation and service so highly.
Blessings and best wishes for a restful weekend.
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.

Copyright © 2022 Diocese of Hereford Education Team, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp