Unlikely Contrasts

A reflection at the beginning of Lent

These last few days have been a time of unlikely contrasts. Personally, as the start of the season of Lent was not only marked by a celebration of the Eucharist, but also by a iPGCE residential organised by Buckingham University, filled with lectures about marking, lesson planning and essay writing.

IMG_0806

I have been surprised by the lack of acknowledgement and conversations about the horrid shootings in Florida earlier this week, despite being together with over 300 teachers and educational specialists. Does it show that this kind of news tragically has become too ‘normal’, or does it show that we are so focused on our own targets, that we lose interest in what is happening around us? And if the latter, does it imply we are losing compassion for those who are further away than the immediate?

Continue reading “Unlikely Contrasts”

Taking Stock

A reflection just before the half-term holiday and the start of Lent

It is the week before the spring half-term, which this year is also the week before the start of Lent. Two good reasons to take stock and see how far we got. Especially for those of us who have started something new at the beginning of the academic year, a lot will have happened since September, and it is good to take some time to see where we are.

IMG_0332

Continue reading “Taking Stock”

Come and See!

A sermon preached at Sherborne Abbey at the Sherborne School Service
Second Sunday of Epiphany: John 1.43-51

When I was coming towards the end of my time at school, I was thinking what to study. The options were: medicine, theology or physics. So, as you do, I went to visit some open days. Medicine was quickly removed as an option, as it required a lot of group work: something I didn’t really see myself doing at the time. Theology sounded interesting, but visiting the university’s open day, the second youngest student was in her 40s, so it didn’t promise a vibrant student life.

hands

Continue reading “Come and See!”

What do you really want?

A reflection on what truly matters

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

treasure chest

Have you ever really, really wanted something? Not just wishing it, but with your whole being really wanting it? I’m thinking not just of objects, or presents, but more of achievements or particular situations you would like to be different. For example, you may want to do particularly well in a physics test, or be selected for the first team in netball or hockey. Maybe you want a particular relationship to be better, or – thinking big – peace in the world, or at least a bit more of it.

Continue reading “What do you really want?”

The Parable of the Talents

Some thoughts on Risk-taking

390px-Parable_of_talentsLast Wednesday I went to a Youth Mental Health First Aid training day. I was very pleased that the focus of the day was not discussing how can we keep young people ‘safe’, but thinking how can we teach them to take risks, to make mistakes, and to bounce back. Yes, providing a ‘safety net’, but not trying to avoid any risks, trying to stop them from doing something stupid at all times.

Of course, enabling anyone, and especially young people, to make mistakes is much harder than stopping them. It is harder, because it requires patience and trust, and it will cause more pain and troubles than simply keeping them safe. Continue reading “The Parable of the Talents”

School Chaplaincy

Marlborough_College_Chapel

‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.’

On Education – Albert Einstein

 

It seems pretty obvious to ask a School Chaplain to write a reflection on school chaplaincy. However, in some way, I feel that I am even less qualified to write something about this now – with the little experience I have – than I was a term ago, without any experience. So I asked myself the question: what would I hope that pupils, and staff for that matter, remember when they think about the chaplaincy at Marlborough College a good few years after they have left? What remains after they have forgotten what was actually said? Continue reading “School Chaplaincy”