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St Mary Magdalen,
Ripley, Surrey,
GU23 6AE, UK

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Ripley Primary School

Last Monday the County Council announced that it wishes to close our village school at the end of the Summer Term. On Monday we were told about the informal consultation required as the first stage of the closure process and given notice of the Public Meeting to be held in the School on Tuesday (March 13th) at 6pm.

You may think this is very short notice for a meeting many people will wish to attend;
 you may think that 6pm on a weekday is not a very helpful time when so many of the families affected have one or two members having quite a long commute from work;
 you may think that the refusal of the School leadership to allow a classroom to be used as a crèche was rather obstructive.

I have agreed to the parents arranging a crèche for up to 30 children in our Church Room on Tuesday evening. I believe it is very important that it is made clear by this Parish Church and its Vicar that we support the parents and community who treasure our school; we do not have any control of those in the County or Diocesan Education system who have made the decisions which have brought us to this place. We will continue to work and pray with the people of Ripley.

I have had phone and email conversations with Bishop Jo, the Bishop of Dorking, who is Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education. She did not have this role, I believe, when the first decisions were made which have brought us here, but she is not critical of the decisions and has not accepted my or other’s arguments against the way things have been handled.

Bishop Jo has told me she is praying for our village, school and community. Our Church is backing prayer with action and action with prayer, for the sake of all who live here.