A SPECIAL service took place at Chichester Cathedral to mark the 200th anniversary of the Church of England’s National Society.
The society, which was established in 1811 to provide ‘education to the poor in every parish’, was responsible for founding many of the church schools in Sussex.
Bishop John Hind blessed a special banner which has been commissioned to celebrate the anniversary which showed a church school located between the green of the South Downs and the blue of the English Channel.
Revd Janina Ainsworth, the chief education officer for the Church of England and general secretary of the National Society, was the keynote speaker at the event on Monday.
As well as the three bishops and three archdeacons of the diocese of Chichester, headteachers and governors were joined by civic dignitaries including the mayor of Chichester Tony French and David Tupper, the High Sheriff of West Sussex.