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Archbishop at UK's largest online assembly

by Michael Ford last modified 01 May, 2020 05:42 PM

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has delivered a message of hope to school pupils across the country in the biggest online school assembly ever seen in this country.

In his address as part of the Assembly at the online classroom The Oak National Academy, the Archbishop said:

“I suspect this year 2020 will stick in the mind for many reasons and there are lots of things that you will be going through - 'What do we do with that?'

“For Christians, it’s all summed up in a word ‘hope’... hope means the certain expectation of something you don’t have yet but you will have in the future because it’s been promised by God.

“Hope is hope of life, hope of purpose, hope of peace, hope of justice, equality and a good future.”

Since its launch last week the online classroom has seen over 2 million lessons accessed.

In his pre-recorded address, the Archbishop said:

“It’s wonderful that this Academy is growing and exists in these dark times, it’s a place of light and of commitment to the future.”

In addition to the assemblies, the Church of England is also partnering with Oak National Academy to provide separate weekly collective worship sessions led by schools, which will be accessible to those of all faiths and none.

This will be part of the Church of England’s forthcoming #FaithAtHome programme, which launches later in the week.

As well as the Archbishop, the first assembly featured the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP.

Assemblies at Oak National Academy will be held in partnership with the TES (Times Educational Supplement) and be delivered by a range of well-known faces. They will focus on topics like hope and resilience, as well as practical advice and support. They will act as a moment for the country’s pupils to come together and provide reassurance during this uncertain time.

Oak National Academy opened its doors on Monday 20th April. The online classroom provides a sequenced plan of video lessons and curricular resources for teachers, as well as parents and their children.

Nigel Genders, Chief Education of Officer for the Church of England said:

"The Church of England is well used to leading collective worship in community schools as well as Church of England schools across the country and we are delighted to be able to continue to offer that through the Oak National Academy at this time.

"Our #faithathome programme for schools will offer a chance to pause, think and reflect and will be open to people of all faiths and none."

The Archbishop’s address is available on the Oak National Academy website.

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