23 December 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Bishop Colton is involved either as Patron or in other ways in 20 primary schools and 3 second-level schools in County Cork
As schools have reached the end of a challenging and demanding academic term before Christmas, and as 2020 heads towards its close, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Paul Colton, has singled the education work of the Diocese and everyone involved in it, for special mention, praise and thanks.
Everyone involved in running our schools in these extraordinarily demanding times is truly a frontline worker’ he said. ‘I am thinking not only of principals and teachers, but also of special needs assistants, secretarial, maintenance and cleaning staff, local clergy, as well as the voluntary support given by members of Boards of Management and Parents’ Associations. Without the huge extra effort being put in by all these people our schools would not be open. I have seen it first hand in my own home and in my on-going regular contacts with our schools.
Bishop Colton said that he wanted to single out the children and young people for special mention:
I want to make special mention of the children in our primary schools and students in our second level schools and to thank them for the way they have adapted and entered into an education process that has been far from normal.
Bishop Colton, continued:
I know that in recent days schools have had messages of support and gratitude from the Minister for Education and Skills, from the Chief Medical Officer, and from Dr Ken Fennelly in our own Church of Ireland Education Office, but I wish to add my local voice as Bishop or as Patron, as appropriate, to say that I am full of admiration and praise for what our schools have been doing and I want to thank everyone involved in them.
The fact that the work of education continued from home earlier in the year at no notice, for which huge credit is also due to parents and guardians, the work put in throughout the summer months in preparing the school buildings for re-opening, and the day to day exploration of the far from normal realities in the school setting have all been truly inspiring.
Thank you all so much.