We are delighted to announce that we will have a new Principal – Lizzy Nesbitt – join us in September.
Lizzy is married to Glenn and they have two children, Joseph, 7 and Zoë, 4. They have been living in South Africa since 2008 and are returning to the UK in August. During their time in Johannesburg, Glenn has taught a whole range of courses at Johannesburg Bible College at the main campus in the city and a satellite campus in Soweto. Since 2011, Lizzy has been teaching Latin at St John’s College and for the past few years has also been involved in various areas of curriculum development, staff development and integrated studies.
What are your connections with Oxford?
“I grew up in Cheltenham and two sets of cousins and my grandfather lived in Oxford, so I have many happy childhood memories of Oxford. I think this, rather than its academic reputation, was the main reason I applied to come to Oxford for university! I studied at Worcester College and after university worked as an apprentice at St Ebbe’s Church. After our wedding, Glenn and I moved to London for his theological training but continued our links with St Ebbe’s as they provided support through college and then have continued to support our ministry in South Africa as overseas partners. Even though we have never lived in Oxford as a family, it is the city we most identify in England as home and are very excited to be ‘coming back’.”
What attracted you to come to Emmanuel?
“When we knew we might be returning to Oxford, we considered options for school for Joseph and Zoë and Emmanuel was one of them. For the last two years they have been taught at home while I have been at work. Alongside the different areas of academic life I have engaged in at St John’s, I have also thought hard about the distinctive Christian education we have wanted for our children. Emmanuel offered the opportunity for the passions I have at work and the passions we have for our children to fuse into one place. It is an opportunity which I know will stretch me, but one I feel excited about because of all the different ways I can see God has over the years equipped me for different aspects of it.”
What do you mean by ‘life and learning to the full’?
“When Jesus promised life to the full, he didn’t promise life with everything we ever wanted, but with everything we ever needed: an unhindered relationship with God the Father: restored relationships with one another marked by sacrificial love; and a perspective on the world that enables us to bless it, but not ultimately live for everything it offers. This is the life to the full that is lived out at Emmanuel and is the foundation of learning that is deep, secure and purposeful. By learning to the full I mean that students at ECS see learning as an adventure as they explore and discover God’s world with humility and wonder, with eyes of faith, not hearts of fear. I would want curriculum to creatively exceed the demands and constraints of any national standard, driven by an expectation that children grow into the intellectual life of those around them.”
How can we pray for you?
“Psalm 77 expresses how we feel as a family at the moment. Seven months may feel a long time to ECS but it feels a short time as we wind up all the different aspects of life here while continuing to serve in our different roles faithfully. Please pray that as we look back with thankfulness on very happy years here in South Africa, we would look forward confidently to all that God has in store for us and trust him to guide us through all the needs and practicalities of the next few months.”