Bishop Nick spent a morning in Abbey Grange CE School this week, particularly looking at how Religious Studies is taught throughout the school.
Abbey Grange has a very diverse intake with over 55 languages spoken by students who come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, from the most deprived areas to the more affluent.
In a 6th form assembly exploring respect for other cultures, Bishop Nick said, “Conversations between the different faiths – or ‘interfaith dialogue’ – aren’t just about being nice to one another. The beginning of respect is honesty, so it’s about naming the realities, showing that you take people seriously by telling them the truth and being willing to hear the truth about yourself.
“In a world that reveres success, power and beauty, in Christian faith, the icon of power is a man hanging on a cross, a man who says, throw at me what you want to and I won’t throw it back. Some may see that as ludicrous; even ‘weedy’, but it’s a better alternative that doesn’t perpetuate cycles of violence. It’s an icon of power that’s truly transformative in a world that doesn’t know what to do.”
Bishop Nick also took part in a question and answer session during a Year 13 Religious Studies lesson, and was asked whether he'd had a religious experience and whether he thought the Book of Revelation was true.
Chaplain Kay Brown says: “It was great to share with Bishop Nick something of the life of our school community. Our Christian ethos is central to all we do as we educate, nurture and empower our students, and he seemed impressed by their confidence to explore faith in a modern context.”