The last day of term

Address for the Lower School
Marlborough College Chapel, 12th December 2018

end of termHere we are, on the last day of this term. It has felt like a long term, and the lists we just had, were a good reminder on how much we have achieved in these last few months; of how much you have been giving to this College community over this last term. As I said at the carol services, I think it is worth repeating, that at Christmas we have an opportunity to celebrate who we are, the gift we are, and to say thank you for this. Maybe in many ways, not unlike the lists we just had.

The great thing is that this is something we do together: a celebration together is much better than a celebration on your own. I am always impressed by your enthusiasm for what others have to offer, and the way in which you share in celebrating each other’s achievements. It shows that you already know what I am about to say, and that is that individual achievements are a cause of celebration for us all.

It’s not always easy of course, especially when part of you would have liked to have been that person standing up there, receiving the prize or honours. But ultimately, what matters is that we change our perspective from just looking at ourselves to looking around us, and realising that in our unique way, we all give to and receive from each other.

It has been a long term, and together we have come a long way. For some of you, it has been your first term here, and undoubtedly you have changed. And you have not only changed yourself, but you have also changed the people around you: that is what is means to live in a community like this.

Now we are looking forward to a few weeks of well-deserved rest. For some, particularly those in the Hundred, there will be times for work as well, but we will all be able to change gear and to slow down. And, of course, it is the time to celebrate Christmas. The slowing down, will also give us an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, how we have changed, and what our hopes and aspirations are for the future.

When I asked some of the New Court Remove yesterday evening, if there was anything they could think of for me to say this morning, their reply was, just say ‘Merry Christmas’. So that is where I would like to leave it this morning: have a lovely Christmas, enjoy the time and the company of others. And I look forward to seeing you back in January, excited to see what the year ahead may bring.

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