One hundred school leaders - headteachers, governors and clergy - were inspired and informed as they met for the 2018 School Leaders Conference last week.
With the theme 'In the footsteps of St Chad' they were treated to talks by the Bishop of Lichfield who outlined how schools are an integral part of the Diocesan vision as well as some helpful conclusions drawn from the life of St Chad and other past bishops of Lichfield.
He was followed by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John Hall, previously a teacher, Director of Education for Blackburn Diocese and, from 1998-2006, the Church of England's Chief Education Officer. His contribution was enlightening and entertaining: titled 'Church and State in the 21st Century', it was wide-ranging including a summary of the development of schools in Britain - beginning in the monasteries, adopted by the Church and eventually the state - and an insight into the life and work of Westminster Abbey. This clearly illustrated the enduring role that the Church plays in relation to the State and the Abbey as a focal point - hosting major commemorations and celebrations, welcoming foreign heads of state and with a particular freedom to encourage ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.