The Church of Ireland’s Board of Education (Northern Ireland) has expressed its thanks to all those involved in the life of our schools as the Christmas break approaches.
Speaking in his role as Chair of the Board, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev John McDowell, said: “As schools prepare to break up for a well-deserved Christmas break, I simply wanted to offer my heartfelt thanks to all teachers, pupils, governors and support staff of every kind, for the truly remarkable achievements of the past term.
“Probably for many principals and senior leadership teams, it has seemed as though term began in the middle of the summer when, at very short notice, you were required to prepare for opening schools to all pupils in September, for the autumn term. To have done so, and to have maintained the regular rhythms of teaching and learning and pastoral care when the ground was shifting underneath our whole society is a truly remarkable tribute to your professionalism, resourcefulness and dedication. No-one could failed to be impressed by this immense effort.”
The Archbishop continued: “I wish too to thank all pupils and students who have had to face a changed learning environment and have adapted so well to it. It has not been easy at times and I have no doubt there have been anxieties and stresses, but I trust you have a justified sense of achievement and can look forward to relaxing over large helpings of Brussels sprouts.
“All concerned have much to be proud of and I hope can find a renewed sense of joy as we celebrate the coming into our world of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.”
Dr Peter Hamill, Secretary to the Board, added his best wishes for the Christmas season: “We have all a great deal to thank you for and you have every reason to enjoy the Christmas break, perhaps more than in any other year,” Dr Hamill said.
“There may have been fewer or smaller planned events than in other years but, under immense pressure, you managed to carry on and provide an excellent education for all pupils and students. The Church of Ireland wishes to acknowledge their hard work and dedication. May they have a restful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.”