Canon Carolyn Lewis, Diocesan Director of Education, writes:
It was a great joy to be able to welcome new headteachers from across the Diocese of Derby and to be hosted by the Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby.
We shared together in a commissioning service where Bishop Libby shared words of encouragement and affirmation to the new school leaders and they were each given a holding cross as a small gift to remind them of their belonging to the diocesan family.
The Rt Revd Malcolm Macnaughton, Bishop of Repton and Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE), prayed for the new headteachers and also encouraged them with words from the DBE’s vision:
"In the Diocese of Derby, we are committed to support our schools to be places of transformation, growth and where community is built, as we live out the values of generous faith, courageous hope and life-giving love.
"We do this through offering:
- life-giving, life-changing learning through excellent education, shaped by a distinctively Christ-like vision and ethos
- inclusive and inspirational collective worship, inviting all to grow in faith
- excellent religious education, enabling children and young people to reflect critically and explore faith, belief, and Christian responses to life’s big questions
- hospitality, hope and love to children, young people and households
- a sense of belonging to those of all faiths and none, building community near and far, local and global.
"As the headteacher of one of our church schools, you have a special responsibility to ensure everyone in your school is valued and recognised as a child of God, uniquely gifted by God.
"You are also responsible for ensuring the school is rooted in Christian values, principles and beliefs, and that worship and religious education are at the centre of the life and work of the school."
Finishing the afternoon with ‘afternoon tea’ new headteachers, the bishops and the DBE staff team were able to make connections and share a little of the joys and challenges of life in school.
Pictured with Bishops Libby and Malcolm are (l-r): Helen Britten, Duffield, William Gilbert Endowed CE Primary; Louise Nicholson, Stretton Handley CE Primary; Katie Forster, Breadsall CE Primary; Emma-Jane Harry, Bakewell CE Infant; Mark Hibbert, Weston-on-Trent CE Primary; Francesca Mellor, co-head, Hartshorne CE Primary.
The DBE also welcomes: Liz Wooliscroft, Carsington & Hopton; Jayne Jackson, Castleton; Sarah Bellicoso, Dove Holes CE Primary; Suzanne Gardner, Langley Mill CofE (VC) Infant & Nursery; Jodie Daniels, Rosliston; Jakki Rogers, Whitfield, St Luke's.