Dr Rowan Williams Leads Celebrations for the Bicentenary of the National Society
Friday, 14th October 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams paid tribute to the work of the National Society at a Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Bicentenary of the National Society on Friday 14th October at 12 noon.
Dr Rowan Williams gave the Address at the service which was held to honour the legacy of Joshua Watson and other leading members of the Church of England who founded the National Society to establish a network of church schools. The first meeting took place on 16th October 1811.
Today nearly five thousand church schools and academies educate almost one million students, and over fifteen million people in the current population have attended a church school. The National Society still works to support church schools and retains its commitment to serve the poor in some of the most disadvantaged communities across England and Wales. It works in partnership with other faith communities, with local and central government, and with a range of other organisations.
In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:
Today we assemble to give thanks to God: for the National Society’s first two hundred years; for founders, both of the Society and of church schools, colleges, and universities; for trustees, governors, and teachers.
We pray that the light of the Gospel might shine: on the council and staff of the National Society; on diocesan colleagues and those in central and local government, parliament, and assembly; and on all who support and develop places of education and learning. We pray that young people of our institutions might know the love of God and grow in his service through Lord Jesus Christ.