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Parish News and Announcements  

The Parish office will close at 4.00pm on Wednesday, 24th July and re-open at 8.30am on Tuesday, 6th August. The next parish newsletter will be over the weekend of 10th/11th August.

As we unwind for the summer holidays, I’d like to say thanks to our exceptional set of educators in our three primary and one secondary comprehensive schools. Our schools have evolved over the years into being linchpins between our young people and our Faith Community, or Parish. Yes, we struggle to see them as visible future carriers of the Faith, but that solid ethos is unquestionably present in all four schools. Pressures that those of us of an older generation experienced, are now on our teachers to a very high degree.

Those pressures come from dramatically reduced funding, and ever increasing, and at times, unreasonable expectations of Ofsted, and parents. Ofsted has been in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons, and is rightly being challenged on not just its expectations, but its approach. The Multi Academies are still finding their feet, and this too has created a different ethos, especially between schools and parishes. Pressures unthinkable in the past are the new reality. However, this is what we have now, and we move on into the future with the challenges that such radical changes bring. A special thanks to our school Governors for sticking with it.

St. Leonard’s has gone through the most challenging years in its history due to RAAC.Exceptional temporary buildings are now in place until the new state of the art building is completed by Easter 2026. We look forward to this as a parish, because the very clear message from young – and older – parishioners is that they miss our Easter and Christmas celebrations there. I have been both gladdened and surprised by these unsolicited comments, I might add.

Our schools have also suffered personnel losses this term. Bridget Grehan-Bradley has gone to the Lord. May she rest in peace. This week we bid farewell to another exceptional teacher who is moving on to new pastures in her career from St. Godric’s School. Joanne Oakes. Thanks Joanne. And so, dear teaching staff, have a well-earned summer respite and I hope you are going to be utterly spoiled by family and friends for all you do, especially carrying the light of Faith and the compassion of Christ to our children. “There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.” Robert Frost.

Our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes goes next Friday. We wish all our travelling parishioners a wonderful pilgrimage. Do remember us all.

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