Archbishop Runcie CE First School, Gosforth welcomed The Bishop of Newcastle, The Right Revd Christine Hardman last week as she officially opened their new foyer.
174 school children joined Bishop Christine outside while she discussed the importance of the entrance. Bishop Christine said: “It could have a damaged door. It could have no glass. That would be one message, but that wouldn’t be a good message, would it?”
After the school children responded ‘no’, Bishop Christine replied: “Look at the message of this wonderful new entrance. It says ‘Welcome. This is a beautiful place, and you are most welcome to come here’.
“It says, I think, ‘You’re going to find the most amazing people inside this building’. That’s you!
“When you leave a building, the entrance matches that too actually. You leave a place and get sent out into the world into the rest of your lives.”
The previous foyer had many disadvantages, with Headteacher Mrs Kate Massey suggesting: “it was a dark, dingy small foyer, which often misguided visitors.”
School governors were also in attendance to watch the unveiling.
In light of her upcoming retirement, Bishop Christine also received a surprise farewell from the students, being gifted a card signed by the entire school and flowers.
The new foyer was funded by the Diocese of Newcastle as part of their LCVAP (Locally Coordinated Voluntary-Aided Programme).
A new plaque has been unveiled next to the school reception, blessed by Bishop Christine, to commemorate the opening. This reads: ‘This foyer was dedicated and officially opened by the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle. 5th November 2021'.
Afterwards members of the school council, representing each year group, met with Bishop Christine and Labour MP Catherine McKinnell as they hosted a QnA session, educating the students on their roles.