Official Opening of Leamington Hastings CofE Academy
Bishop Christopher Visits Leamington Hastings
1st December 2015
On Tuesday morning, we were delighted to welcome the Rt. Revd. Dr. Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, to Leamington Hastings for a very special service of blessing. We also welcomed our parish Priest, Revd. Jane, members of the Diocese of Coventry’s Board of Education, representatives of the Diocese of Coventry’s Multi Academy Trust, governors, staff, parents and children to witness a new chapter in a long and proud tradition of education at Leamington Hastings.
We have been part of a church family since the very beginning in 1685, when the first school was established by the Lord of the Manor, Sir Thomas Trevor, the vicar, John Allingham and the village freeholders. This was at the time of the land enclosures when the Poor’s Land Foundation was set up.
Later, from 1811, Leamington Hastings subscribed to early National Society endeavours to provide education for the poor of the parish and in 1840, the National School at Hill was built by the Revd. H. W. Sitwell, who was both Lord of the Manor and vicar of the Parish. At his own expense he provided a school, playground, school master’s house and garden.Since that time there has always been a school on this site, although the original was demolished and replaced by our current buildings in 1961.
In 2011, we held our 50th birthday celebrations with a rededication and blessing delivered by the Venerable Ian Watson, Arch Deacon of Coventry. At that time we renamed our outside classroom the Dr Alec Parker building, in honour of Dr Parker who was a long serving governor and chair of governors at the school for over 40 years.
Before the service, the Bishop enjoyed a tour of the school, particularly admiring the children’s display of pictures of ‘What Does God Look Like?’. He was later joined by a number of children in the library where he took advantage of our super new soft furnishings to read with them. They were having so much fun, we were even a little late beginning our service!
During the service, Bishop Christopher explained the significance of his robes of office, which one of our delighted children had a chance to try on. The robes were very heavy and the Bishop’s hat was a bit big, but, once dressed, Bishop Courtney looked very important indeed!
Linda Wainscott, director of the Diocesan Board of Education led us in prayer while the bible readings were ably read by 6 of our Year 2 pupils. The final blessing from the Bishop was delivered with a sprinkling of water which the children really enjoyed!
After the service, our visitors enjoyed some refreshments before joining us for a tasty dinner in the school hall. Our children were able hosts, and visitors were very impressed with their behaviour, their responsible attitudes in serving and clearing the meal and their interesting conversation and good social skills. In a very kind letter the Bishop thanked everyone involved and said "My abiding memory will be the simple sense of happiness throughout the school."
We are looking to the future with confidence and optimism, and, although now part of a new family with the Diocese of Coventry’s Multi Academy Trust, to the continuation of a rich and long established educational tradition here at Leamington Hastings.
Sowing the Seeds of a Lifelong Love of Learning in a Caring Christian Community