Message to Schools from Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking & Acting Bishop of Chelmsford

Dear friends,

Thank you. Thank you for all you continue to do for our church school students at this extraordinary and demanding time.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that a good teacher ‘is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’ (Matt13:52‬). It seems to me that is exactly what has been required of you over the last 10 weeks of restriction. You have used and redirected the old treasure of teaching experience and resource and reached ‭out to grasp newer treasure in creative invention, especially on line, to ensure the good education of so many of the young people under your care.

Thank you, across the whole primary and secondary age range, for your creativity and commitment in providing such a diversity of apt on and off line learning opportunities for our students, especially those engaged in examination syllabuses.  It will have made a huge difference for many students and their families at this time of restriction and need. We are all aware that for those without broadband and/or computer facilities at home this will have been much more difficult and for some impossible. Yet so many teachers have pulled out all the stops to provide suitable off-line lesson materials also.

After our Government decided to allow primary schools to re-open for the youngest and oldest pupils from last week, I know all of you who lead and teach in our church primary schools have faced some very tough decisions. As an ex-primary school teacher myself I am all too aware of the acute safety and logistical pressures this will have placed upon you.

Whether you felt it right to have reopened or not, I want to assure you that Tim, our Diocesan Director of Education, and I, trust your professional judgements entirely. Thank you for taking informed and courageous decisions in either direction. Only you as the headteachers and staff can make those wise and needful decisions according to the local context in which you find yourselves, especially in relation to the number of appropriate staff available at any one time. I know too that such decisions need to be constantly kept under review according to circumstance.

As we begin phase by phase to emerge into the ‘new normal’ as it is now being called, the treasure of education, by old and new means, is what will create a better and more Godly world for us all.

Thank for your part in that transformation.


Bishop Peter

Diocese of Chelmsford
Schools, Children and Young People

The Diocese of Chelmsford supports

  • 139 Church Schools & Vine Schools Academy Trust
  • Mission with children and youth in 460 parishes;
  • Sparrows network of pre-school settings
  • Chaplaincies in colleges and universities across East London and Essex.

Our work directly impacts the lives of over 100,000 young people; our commitment is to excellence that all may flourish and have a life-enhancing encounter with the Christian faith and the person of Jesus Christ.

Read our Mission Statement >

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Latest Events and Training Courses

Our current events and training courses have been postponed.

View our 2019/20 Learning and Development Programme (PDF)

Schools Bulletin - June 2020

We’re seeking the help of our schools to identify the next Bishop of Chelmsford. Check out our updated selection of resources, along with end of term bibles and year 6 support for the transition to secondary school.

Read the E-bulletin

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