My activities this week have been varied and diverse. On Tuesday, I was privileged to be present at the consecration of Olivia Graham as Bishop of Reading. This moving and spectacular ceremony took place in the magnificent venue of St Paul’s Cathedral. Following the service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, we were then invited to a reception at Lambeth Palace. Both Wren’s masterpiece and Archbishop Justin’s London residence were appropriately spectacular settings for an incredible event that will linger long in the memory of all who attended. We look forward to continuing our work in support of schools with Bishop Olivia and Archdeacon designate Steven in the Berkshire Archdeaconry.

On Thursday, I had contrasting experiences as I journeyed to depths of rural Buckinghamshire for one of our regular meetings with senior colleagues in the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust and the Oxford Diocesan Bucks Schools Trust. The latter organisation is based on a large farm near Stoke Mandeville that produces amongst other things, poultry for the Christmas table. As I gazed into the eyes of the 100 or so turkeys there, I reflected that none of us know what the future holds and that we place our trust in God.

Finally, I rounded off my day with a really inspiring few hours at Altwood Church of England Secondary School. My afternoon at the school was spent listening to Neil Dimbleby outline the school’s incredible journey under his leadership and witnessing for myself how pupils, staff and parents embody the school’s values of aspiring and achieving within a distinctive Christian educational setting.

Till next week.
Tony