18 December 2020

As 2020 draws to a close and we begin to reflect on the year gone by and the challenges we have faced and overcome, Bishop Alan, as Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education, today thanked head teachers, staff and governors for their unswerving dedication and commitment over what can only be described as an extraordinary year.

2020 has shown just how vital our schools are; they are the lynchpin of our villages and communities and countless examples of selfless, community-spirited acts of kindness have their roots in schools across the diocese. As well as this, staff at our 300 schools have kept the spirit of education alive, putting their children at the heart of everything they do. Staff have had to turn their hands to numerous new tasks and rethink their teaching methods to ensure that students have been able to continue their education, despite the pandemic.

Bishop Alan was keen to point out that the long hours and unremitting hard work have not gone unrecognised and that as educators and as an organisation more widely, 2021 and beyond will be used to address and adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Bishop Alan concluded his end of year message by saying,

“I really want you to know, going on all my experience of ODBE’s interactions with over 300 schools in the Thames Valley whom we serve in one way or another, you have been amazing.

“This Christmas won’t feel like any other, but I hope and pray it will bring some comfort and joy, along with time to rest, recharge and refresh with family and friends. Now’s a time to share the people we love best, and remember always, as St John tells us, the Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

“Happy Christmas, and every good wish for the new year to come! God bless”.