The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver a message of hope to school pupils across the country in the first assembly at Oak National Academy on Thursday 30 April at 10am.
In addition to the assemblies, the Church of England is also partnering with Oak National Academy to provide separate weekly collective worship sessions led by schools, which will be accessible to those of all faiths and none. This will be part of the Church of England’s forthcoming #FaithAtHome programme, which launches later in the week.
As well as the Archbishop, the first assembly will feature the Secretary of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson MP.
Thursday’s event is expected to be the biggest school assembly ever held in the UK.
Since its launch last week the online classroom has seen over two million lessons accessed.
In his pre-recorded address, the Archbishop will say:
“It’s wonderful that this Academy is growing and exists in these dark times, it’s a place of light and of commitment to the future.
“I suspect this year 2020 will stick in the mind for many reasons and there are lots of things that you will be going through.
“What do we do with that?
“For Christians, it’s all summed up in a word ‘hope’… hope means the certain expectation of something you don’t have yet but you will have in the future because it’s been promised by God.
“Hope is hope of Life, hope of purpose, hope of peace, hope of justice, equality and a good future.”
The Archbishop also draws on the words of Nelson Mandela, as well as his own experience of a visit to Sudan where he met and prayed with a young Christian refugee.
Assemblies at Oak National Academy will be held in partnership with TES and be delivered by a range of well-known faces. They will focus on topics like hope and resilience, as well as practical advice and support. They will act as a moment for the country’s pupils to come together and provide reassurance during this uncertain time.