In March 2021, St Michael’s received the very first Bishop of Birmingham Award for Living the Christian Vision, specifically acknowledging creative links and innovative community collaboration. The Bishop’s citation for the award stated that the (school’s) community projects are explicitly linked to the values of compassion and service. They forge positive relationships, break down barriers, alleviate prejudices and encourage understanding…Student Voice members, in caring for the elderly, leading projects designed to tackle contemporary issues, and through their many acts of kindness, ensure that lives inside and outside the school are transformed. This empowers each to believe that they can achieve all that God made them to be.
Almost a year later, on Wednesday 2nd March 2022, the lifting of COVID restrictions allowed the prestigious award to be presented to us personally; we welcomed some very special guests into school that day: The Right Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham; Sarah Smith, Diocesan Director of Education; and Reverend John Bridge, our school Chaplain.
In his address to Student Voice and Year 7 students, Bishop David referred to a time before he joined the church when he met Mother Teresa in Calcutta and, during a conversation, she asked him “Are you all for Jesus?”. He suggested that, today, this question could be answered by looking at the inspiration that was behind the values of this school and how, through the “multiplication of ideas” that had been put into practice, students and staff had demonstrated “in practical and vivid ways” examples of living, love and self-giving, which could make the world a different place; “if we can do more of this here, why can’t that be multiplied across the Black Country and Birmingham and beyond?”. He described the school’s fundraising achievements as “absolutely staggering” and said a gold standard had been set.