A very special guest was welcomed to an Ashington academy last week.
The Bishop of Botswana, Metlha Beleme, visited the Northumberland Church of England Academy’sJosephine Butler Campus in Ashington.
The Bishop received a warm welcome from pupils to celebrate the close links between the two regions.
Rt Revd Metlha Beleme accompanied by his wife Thalepo and Revd Professor James Aranze, visited Ashington campus last week.
The Diocese of Newcastle is a co-sponsor of the Academy, the largest in the country.
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev Martin Wharton was a driving force behind its establishment in 2009 and he was determined to help create a school that would be a catalyst for change in the community.
The Anglican Church in Botswana has a long-standing link with the Diocese of Newcastle and during Bishop Metlha’s visit to the region, the Diocese were keen for him to see their work in the community first hand.
Bishop Metlha enjoyed his visit to Ashington finding out more about the town’s mining heritage and famous football links.
A trained electrician, he worked in a diamond mine in Botswana before deciding to devote his life to the church. He is also a keen football fan.
Academy executive director, Andrew Day, said: “We were delighted to welcome Bishop Metlha, his wife, and Father James.
“The connection between the two dioceses is strong and the Academy wishes to grow its links with schools in Botswana.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to develop an international perspective.”