THE Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev Richard Harries, was given a musical history lesson by these children.

They invited him to St Barnabas First School in Jericho, Oxford, in 1990 to watch their school play.

More than 130 children, aged from five to nine, re-enacted scenes from Oxford’s past, including the Roman occupation, the legend of St Frideswide and the development of the University.

The play was the brainchild of teacher Carol Mahony, who wrote the script and the songs.

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She said: “Oxford is full of history and it’s good to get the children interested in their heritage at an early age. What better way to do this than through a school play.”

The Bishop said afterwards: “It is good to discover that the children are acquiring a sense of the history of their city.”

As part of the project, the children produced a newspaper, The History of Oxford Times, which they sold to boost school funds.

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Teacher Mrs Mahony was a prolific playwright – she had prepared the script for every school production for 13 years.

The previous year, in 1989, pupils had told on stage the story of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail.

Stuart Cavill, nine, was King Arthur and Leon Peto and Daniel Keirs, also nine, were his knights, Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot.

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Richard Harries was Bishop of Oxford from 1987 until his retirement in 2006.

Shortly before he retired he became The Rt Rev Lord Harries of Pentregarth in the House of Lords.