Diocese of Carlisle

    Diocese of Carlisle's Church School Closures

    Latest News
    19 March 2020

    The Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria – can confirm that all of its church schools are to close from Friday afternoon, in line with national Coronavirus guidance issued by the Government.

    It follows a joint announcement made today (18 March) by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to the House of Commons and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to journalists at the daily Coronavirus briefing

    The Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) is now to write to all the headteachers of its 104 schools. Two of its church schools have already closed: St Bega’s in Eskdale and Trinity School in Carlisle.

    Diocesan Director of Education, Vanessa O’Dea, said: “We will continue to work closely with our local authority partners as our schools prepare to close. We will be doing all we can to provide extra resources for our pupils and staff at this time; with new website resource pages already added and which will be further updated in the coming days.”

    The website pages include hints and tips for parents on home schooling with links through to a number of external resources. Around 12,000 pupils attend the Diocese’s church schools. These are mostly primary schools, though there are also two secondary schools, Trinity School and Cartmel Priory and all are undergirded by a Christian ethos.

    They are made up of a mixture of Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools as well as eight others which are members of the Diocese’s The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust.

    The Rev Andrew Towner, chair of the DBE, said: “At this time I would ask that we uphold all our pupils and staff in our prayers. Understandably this is an unsettling and confusing time – especially for younger people – so they need to know they are supported both in practical ways and in prayer. I would also praise the work of all school staff who, in recent weeks, have continued to provide such excellent educational service in what has been such an unprecedented and fast-moving situation.”

    The DBE is also to circulate a special prayer to all church schools as they prepare for temporary closure.

    It reads: “Our loving heavenly Father, Thank you that you never change, and are always full of love, power and wisdom. Please help us to trust you with our confusions and worries, giving thanks for what we do have, and being generous. Please help us look out for other people, and please bless everyone who cares for us. May your Spirit teach us to live more like Jesus as we trust in him as your King. Amen.”


    For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.