Education Sunday: A learning people in a time of change

Sunday 13th September 2020

This year Education Sunday takes place at a time when many children, young people and staff have been away from schools, colleges and universities and have been working in different ways. Churches, too, have had to learn and adapt, whilst still maintaining a pattern of worship. This is a time to think about what we have learnt about ourselves, about our communities and about God.

Let us celebrate all of the teachers and school staff in our diocese who work tirelessly to enable our young people to flourish.

Bishop John has recorded a video to recognise Education Sunday

On Friday, Bishop John celebrated a livestreamed Mass from the Cathedral welcoming young people back to school.

In his Homily, he thanked governors, teachers and ancillary and support staff in schools for their preparation in making the return to education safe for children, recognising the time they have spent in preparation and planning for the new year.

He then called on pupils, acknowledging how strange it may feel to return to school but asked them to be kind to one another, and to be attentive to the differences this year will bring and use them to grow. He asked, “how can you grow in your sense of who you are?”

Bishop John quoted Cardinal Newman ‘God created me to do him some definite purpose. He has committed some work to me that he has not committed to another. I have my Mission.’

He reminded pupils that we are all parts of one body, made up of many different parts, but when we work together we are so powerful in what we can go on to achieve.

He closed with our diocesan prayer: ‘Stay with us Lord, on our Journey’.

To mark the beginning of the school year and Education Sunday Director of Education at the Diocese of Salford, Simon Smith, added:

“At this time, the call to lead in our Catholic schools is louder and more compelling than ever.

Communities have been deeply affected by the imposition of lockdowns and the severing of networks that have always held our learning communities together. But these challenging times provide a unique opportunity: to renew and refresh what we stand for, our values and ambitions for all our young people.

The reawakening of our learning communities also provides excitement, and our teachers and support staff can now live out their vocation to teach; it is more important than ever to educate the whole person.

We all have a role to play in education, which begins at home, but continues around us, and in so many vibrant and exciting ways in all our schools.”

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