Head teachers from around 90 church schools within Bath and Wells were encouraged to ‘step outside their day to day, and enjoy time to connect with like-minded colleagues’ at the Head Teacher Conference 2020 at Wells Cathedral.
The Conference, designed and organised by the Diocesan Education Department, in collaboration with Wells Cathedral, opened with introductions from Rt Revd Ruth Worsley Bishop of Taunton, Dr John Davies Dean of Wells and Ed Gregory Diocesan Director of Education.
The first of two inspirational keynote speakers, Professor Stuart Burgess, spoke about, ‘Hallmarks of Design: Evidence of Purposeful Design in Creation’. Stuart is a professor of engineering design at the University of Bristol. He has worked for the European Space Agency, led the design and testing of the chain drive for the 2016 British Olympic Cycling team and also worked on several bio-inspired design projects. Stuart spoke about seeing God’s design in everything he does and addressed some of the ‘big questions’ around science and the Bible.
Afterwards delegates were able to choose from a wide range of workshops; The Uniqueness of Humankind with Professor Stuart Burgess, The Heat of the Moment: Life & Death Decision-Making with Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, a tour of Wells Cathedral’s chained library, a textiles, altar frontals and vestments tour and workshop on non-violent communication & the Somerset Anne Frank Awards with Leonard Daniels and Mike Keogh, were among some of the workshops on offer.
In the afternoon the second keynote speaker Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, a firefighter for eighteen years, told of her life and work. Sabrina, is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Surrey Fire and Rescue, she is also an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University. Her PHD researched how firefighters think and behave when they attend incidents that could be life-threatening, as a result of that work she went on to publish a pioneering study on how to keep firefighters safe.
Originally from Newport, Sabrina spent two years living on the streets when she was a teenager. Her new book, The Heat of the Moment, is inspired by her own experiences in the fire service and explores how the brain works when it’s in pressured situations.
Quoting from Sabrina’s talk Bishop Ruth said, ‘Being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid but doing things even when you are.’ Sabrina’s personal story speaks of the possibility of overcoming huge challenges, she is a true inspiration!’
Delegates came from across the diocese for the daylong event. All those who attended were given a set of #40 Everyday Questions cards for this year’s Lent Challenge.