Today, we were honoured to welcome the visit of not just one Bishop but two!
The new Bishop of Nandyal, Bishop Pushpa, the first female Bishop of the Anglican Church in India, visited our school as part of her visit to England. She was accompanied by Bishop Alan, Bishop of Buckingham and Revd. Rosie Harper.
Through our close relationship with the Oxford Diocese, we have formed a partnership with the Diocese of Nandyal in southern central India. Our "Project India" fundraising in recent years has raised sufficient money combined with that from other schools within the Diocese to help build an ICT suite in the Bishop Joseph Bunyan School in Nandyal and provide furniture for one of their classrooms.
We were delighted to renew our friendship with the schools of Nandyal with Bishop Pushpa’s visit this morning. Arriving at nine o’clock, Bishop Pushpa, Bishop Alan and Revd. Harper were greeted by Mrs Underwood. Our Impact Reporters lined the route to the hall where the whole school waited expectantly. On arrival at the top of the stairs, our guests received rapturous applause as they entered the packed hall and made their way to chairs prepared in the centre.
Following the warm welcome and allowing time for our visitors to settle into the school, everyone sang in great voice, our school hymn, “Lord Give Us the Vision”.
Mrs Underwood, led collective worship on the theme of Pentecost, explaining the feeling of excitement, warmth and energy created when the Holy Spirit came upon the Disciples on the 50th day after Easter.
The fruits of Pentecost are closely linked with our school core values. Our ‘Wings’ presented their “Lights of the Week” – children who had been recognised for displaying our core value for this half term of “Compassion”. They were presented with special certificates nominated by the “Wings”.
Just as our assembly was drawing to a close, Bishop Pushpa asked if she may say a few words. She commented on how happy she felt to be welcomed into the Chalfont St Peter “family” and how our partnership together was part of God’s family.
Bishop Pushpa then made her way to the front of the hall, where she presented Bishop Alan, as part of the Indian ceremonial tradition, with a beautiful shawl, marked with the partnership between the Dioceses of Nandyal and Oxford and in addition, an ornate garland. Presentations of shawls were also made to Revd. Harper, Mrs Underwood and finally to Mr Underwood, who began the special partnership along with Bishop Alan, several years ago.
Bishop Pushpa, concluded the assembly by blessing our school. Following an interlude where Bishop Pushpa met with Mrs Underwood, Mr Whittall, Chair of Governors and members of the Senior Leadership team, the visitors were able to visit several classes to see the children working.
It was certainly a memorable occasion and one we shall all treasure forever.
Bishop Pushpa was continuing her visits today including a visit to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen and tomorrow, a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament.
We wish her well and look forward to a continuing close relationship in the future..