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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop Visits Johanna Primary School

The Archbishop with a pupil at Johanna Primary School

Thursday 3rd April 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams visited the Johanna primary school in Lower Marsh, Lambeth to attend their open day as the guest of honour.

The event, called 'Say and Play', was designed to showcase the pupils' work and to act as a consultation exercise for local residents to shape the future of Lambeth Council services. The Archbishop of Canterbury was presented with a card by the children, who also explained their hopes and aims for the future of the area. Dr Williams was joined by the other guests; Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, London Assembly member Val Shawcross and Bishop's Ward Councillor Peter Truesdale, to watch a fashion show organised by the Great Lakes African Womens' Network.

Archbishop meeting parents at Johanna Primary SchoolThe Archbishop of Canterbury spoke to the assembled pupils, parents and teachers: "A really good school is never just a place that you send children. It's a place where a whole community gets on with its learning; its learning about what it can do as a community, its learning about what's possible for people in this area. And that's why I'm so enthusiastic about what today has been about ... it's been looking at a school as a place that can draw together lots of hopes, lots of aspirations, lots of skills. A place that really does open doors not just for the children who are looked after so wonderfully here day by day, but opens doors for everybody in the neighbourhood."

Dr Williams reflected on his visit, saying to Involve organisation, "It's been a wonderful afternoon. It has been great to see how a school really can be a focus for a community, a whole community's aspirations, and I think the whole idea of consulting in this way is a brilliant one. I think that people know schools, they know how to cope with schools, they don't feel frightened and that is one of the biggest things about a successful consultation – not intimidating people – and I think that has happened here and I am very glad to see it".

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