18 November 2003

Methodist schools celebrate centenary of co-operation

The Board of Management for Methodist Schools next week celebrates its centenary with a celebration concert and service at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. More than 570 pupils of the 14 independent Methodist schools in England and Wales take part in the gala music concert on Saturday 29 November, at 7.30pm, performing works by Bizet, Rutter and Parry.

On Sunday 30 November, at 11am, the President of the British Methodist Conference, the Rev Dr Neil Richardson, will preside at a special service to mark the 100 years' contribution by the Board in Methodist education.

The Board of Management was set up by the 1903 Methodist Conference and its Trust Deed was signed in December of that year. The Board was founded to represent Methodist secondary schools among the new Local Education Authorities established by the 1902 Education Act.

The Secretary of the Board of Management, Mr Graham Russell, said: "Generations of pupils have every reason to be grateful to the wisdom of those Edwardian Methodists that set out the basis on which our schools have been administered ever since. These pioneers would have found the world of today an unrecognisable place, but thanks to their foresight, and the dedication of countless people since, the Methodist schools in Britain continue to flourish."

During the centenary weekend's events, Methodist Central Hall will be decorated with 14 large banners hung from the balcony of the Great Hall, the artwork for which was designed by pupils from each Methodist school. A Centenary Book is to be presented during the Sunday morning service, with signatures of more than 10,000 staff, pupils, governors and support staff of the 14 schools. These signatures have been gathered during the autumn term and the completed book will tour the schools in the next few months before being given a place at the Wesley Museum, City Road, London, next year. Proceeds from the Centenary Concert are to go to the Methodist Relief and Development Fund.

The Methodist independent secondary schools in England and Wales

For further information about the Board of Management for Methodist Residential Schools contact the Secretary, Mr Graham Russell, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JP. Tel: 020 7935 3723. See online at: www.methodisteducation.co.uk 

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