Bishop commissions local priest as Northbourne Park school chaplain

The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott commissioned local retired priest, the Reverend Philip Clements, as Honorary Chaplain to Northbourne Park School, on Thursday 6 September.

Staff and pupils in the Senior School (Aged 7 to 13) attended the special service which took place in the school chapel, St Mary’s of Betteshanger. The service, which was also the first school assembly of the new academic year, included an address by Bishop Trevor and a blessing and prayer for the new school year.

Father Philip, whose background includes 22 years working as a school chaplain and teacher in three schools, commented: “I am thrilled to take on this role because children and schools have always been a major part of my ministry.” In 1999 Father Philip moved to Eastry, where, as a retired priest, he regular takes services in local churches and schools. As Honorary Chaplain, Father Philip will provide pastoral support to the pupils and staff and encourage the spiritual life of the school. Describing his commissioning as the ‘crowning of his ministry’ he added: “I feel honoured to be asked to have this closer connection with the school.”

Headteacher, Mr Edward Balfour, commented: “Along with the staff and pupils I am delighted that Philip’s role at the school has been formally recognised. Philip has been a great friend to the school over the past years and I look forward to seeing even more of him at the school in the future.”

Northbourne Park School is a co-educational day and boarding school for 3-13 year olds. An open morning for prospective pupils and parents is being held on Saturday 6 October from 10am-12.30pm. For more information visit:


Photo shows: Headteacher Edward Balfour, Chaplain Revd Philip Clements and

Bishop Trevor Willmott with six choir members at Northbourne Park School

Further information from:

Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459401, 07876 210 446


Mr Edward Balfour, Headteacher: 01304 611215