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Church of England prepares to celebrate Education Sunday, 11 February 2001

Education Sunday, 11 February 2001, is a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education. Celebrated for well over a hundred years, it is an ecumenical event shared by the Christian Churches.

This year, Education Sunday holds particular significance within the Church of England and the Church in Wales. The central role of Church schools within the Church's national mission has been highlighted by the Consultation Report of the Church Schools Review Group. Drawing particular attention to that role, the Report also stresses the need for the Church to give a more explicit recognition of teaching as a vocation, and challenges the Church to promote teaching as an important expression of Christian ministry.

Ron Dearing, Chairman of the Church Schools Review Group, said,
"In my view, the greatest opportunity the Church has had for the last 50 years to reach out to people of faith and of no faith lies in its Church schools and their future growth in response to parental demand. The only way the Church can realise this opportunity is through Christians with a vocation to teach coming into the profession. This is a key issue for the Church.."

Lord Dearing's Report recommends that Education Sunday should be celebrated in all
parishes as an occasion when clergy can speak on the vocation to teach and the value the Church places on the work of Christian teachers in all schools. The National Society produces a leaflet with ideas for marking Education Sunday. This year, it includes a liturgy for Education Sunday, in which teaching and learning are supported and celebrated. The liturgy also offers the opportunity to commission teachers in both statutory and voluntary education by celebrating their gifts.

The Education Sunday leaflet can be obtained from the National Society, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3NZ. Tel: 020-7898-1518, and can be downloaded from the National Society's website (www.natsoc.org.uk).