Symposium at the Bishop of London's home, December 2004

Bishop of LondonFollowing receipt of the Executive Summary of the report1 of the first Patrick V Saxton Fellowship earlier in 2004, the Bishop of London, as ASET's Chairman, hosted a luncheon Symposium at his home near St Paul's Cathedral in December for a small number of hand-picked experts in food and nutrition education, the purpose being, in the Bishop's words, to 'explore how the Trust may effectively focus our future efforts in supporting the education of young people in the area of health and diet... in the context of the heightened public debate about food education.'

Attending the Symposium were leading figures from the world of food, including the doyenne of food writers, Marguerite Patten; Sarah Jane Evans (formerly of BBC Good Food, and a well-known writer and broadcaster on food and wine); Anita Cormac (Focus on Food); Lizzie Vann (Soil Association); Ruth Fairchild (Chair, Institute of Consumer Sciences); and Ann Hemingway (Food Standards Agency). The Department of Health was also represented.

Left to right, the Bishop with Marguerite Patten; Sarah Jane Evans;
Margaret Jepson; Anita Cormac.

The principal messages arising from the Symposium can be summarised as follows:

  • the priority target should be to strengthen commitment and pedagogical skills in the relevant disciplines at primary school level, the key objective being to help young people to make sensible food choices and live longer, healthier, more vigorous lives;
    to this end...

  • 'joined up', strategic lobbying should be engaged in, aimed at clear, defined targets. Unity of purpose and effort would pay dividends. ASET could help by providing co-ordination and facilitation.

Left to right, Revd. Canon Peter Hartley, with Audrey Rose, Barbara Harvey
and Diane McCrea, the ASET trustees who organised the symposium.

Those present agreed to form an email network partnership, which would be sponsored and facilitated by the All Saints Educational Trust. Others would be encouraged to join as it seemed appropriate.

1 'Understanding how living skills can best be promoted, encouraged and acquired by young people': by Suzanne Horne and Karen Kerr, University of Stirling

All Saints Saxton Fellowship (formerly the Patrick V Saxton Fellowship)