The children were very excited to welcome the Church of England’s Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster. He is responsible for the 142 parishes which make up the Portsmouth Diocese, which includes south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
His office, Bishopsgrove, is located in Fareham, whereas the diocesan offices are based in Portsmouth, near the cross-channel ferry port. His cathedral is in Old Portsmouth.
Bishop Christopher came to school this morning to bless our school garden. He visited St Barnabas to join the Juniors in their Wednesday Church service which was led by Year 5. Then he went to meet all the infant class where each School Councilor was primed and ready to ask some very deep and meaningful questions! Here are the responses:
Do you get any days off? Yes, I have Friday off and Sunday is my public day rather than my busiest day.
Are there any female Bishops? Yes, in the last few weeks and months there have been female Bishops. We now have four in our local area. It was hard to change as Bishops are meant to be like disciples who where were all male.
Do you like your job? Yes, I love it as it is so varied and I get to meet so many interesting people and visit lots of places like schools and prisons.
Do you feel special or do you feel just like a normal person? I am just a normal person with a very special job. I visit hospitals, prisons and yesterday I took homeless people to the House of Lords.
Do you support a football team? Yes, I support Wolverhampton Wanderers because I grew up living near Wolverhampton.
What does a Bishop do? A Bishop is a priest who has three main responsibilities. The first is to look after all of the churches and communities like Swanmore. The second to be a Vicar for all of the Vicars and their families. Finally I look after and visit people in prisons and hospitals. I am also a member of the House of Lords.
Are you married and do you have children? Yes, I am married to Sally and I have two children. My son Richard is a history teacher and my daughter Miriam is a barrister.
Who goes to Heaven? We can all go to Heaven. We must try and be kind and generous. Heaven makes us closer to God.
Do you play any musical instruments? Yes, I used to play the viola but not very much now.
What does it mean ‘to bless’? A blessing is when we pray the very best for something or someone. So when I bless the garden we will pray our best to God to look after the garden and make things grow.
Are you good at painting? No, I’m not very good at painting pictures, but I am good at painting the house and doing DIY.
Do you do good writing? I used to but I ought to try harder.
Thank you Bishop Christopher for answering all of questions. We hope that you will come back and visit us again soon.