REV DAVID FAREY: Hellingly’s bid for a brand new school

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

There are exciting happenings in Hellingly just now. We are about to join in a bid for a new Church school.

We all know about the housing developments going on around Hailsham and so many places all over the country.

What this obviously means is that where significant housing is being built there is a need for infrastructure, such as doctors’ surgeries, better transport, more shops and of course, schools.

A school has been intended for the New Road development in Hellingly for some time and it is now finally coming to fruition.

Academy Trusts are being asked to bid and the Chichester Diocese is taking part. The invitation for bids has only fairly recently gone out and they have to be in by the end of September, so there isn’t much time! I have been beavering away with the team writing the bid to provide the necessary support.

One of the key events is on Monday September 12 in Hellingly Village Hall at 7.30pm for anyone interested to come along and hear about the bid and to make comment.

What is really interesting since the notice went out on Facebook is the amount of interest it has generated.

Inevitably because of the need for places there has been a big load of encouraging support.

There have also been those who have expressed dislike for Church schools in general and a preference for secular schools.

I am obviously going to be biased but I do think Church schools have an enormous amount to offer our communities.

Historically speaking the Christian faith has played a large part in the establishment of our society. It is not perfect and has made mistakes but overall the Christian ethos has helped to construct all that is positive in society.

It has established the principles that most people live by whether they have a faith or not. For well over a hundred years Church of England schools have taught solid principles that are shot through society. They consistently outperform many other schools around them in terms of standards. It is why there is frequently a heavier demand for places in a Church school, and often by those of other or no faith, as well as professing Christians.

Around Hailsham they are noticeable by their absence. The nearest is Herstmonceux, attracting applicants from a wide area because a good school is worth getting into no matter what the distance. Simply on the basis of providing a wider choice for parents I would argue that it is good to have Church schools around. I really do hope it gets approval. But who am I to say? I am just a vicar!