A Mass of Thanksgiving for the services to education of Jim Conway and John Cape was recently celebrated at the Hallam Pastoral Centre by Bishop Ralph, Fr Peter McGuire, Episcopal Vicar for Schools, Mgr Kilgannon and Deacon Chris Kime. Diocesan Trustees and staff at the Pastoral Centre attended the Mass and a family atmosphere prevailed. As teachers, headteachers and Diocesan Directors, Jim’s and John’s combined service has spanned nearly 80 years between them. Bishop Ralph in his sermon recognised their valuable contribution to schools during a changing and challenging time in the educational landscape.
It was a great surprise that Bishop John, Bishop Emeritus of Hallam, was also able to attend the Mass of celebration. He delivered a humorous tribute to Jim and John and recognised their “outstanding” work for the Diocese. Afterwards colleagues presented Jim and John with gifts and thanked them for their significant contribution.
Jim and John developed a very strong professional partnership and worked diligently to improve standards both in Religious Education, as well as educational standards in all schools. Because of their hard work and commitment to Catholic education, Diocesan schools and academies are now in a stronger position and families of schools have been encouraged and supported in working far more collaboratively.
During recent months a well-planned staffing transition programme has been implemented and the new Directors will take up their posts in September. We wish Jim and John a long, healthy and happy retirement.