Hurstpierpoint College Senior Chapel Address Friday 18th September 2020: Mark 4.35-41
It has been really good over the last two weeks to get to know some of you in your bubbles, and to ask you the question what you would like to say if you were leading a Chapel service. Your suggestions were wide-ranging and indeed impressive, and have given us a lot of ideas to use over the coming weeks.
The overarching themes were the same for most of you. Thinking about diversity, and how we can get better in learning from our differences; mental health, both for boys and girls, and current affairs. Many of you also mentioned that you want things to be relevant to you, as you become adults in an increasingly complicated world, and you would like to hear from people with experience what life is like, not just someone saying ‘always look for help’.
Although not for all of us, for most people, July and August are the months in which our pattern changes, and our normal routines are suspended. Not only schools take a break, but also many reading and study groups don’t meet over the summer months and the number of administrative meetings is reduced. It is a time and opportunity to unwind, to pause and to reflect. Even if our lives are no longer dominated by school or work, it is important to change the way we use our time occasionally, although I’m not denying the significance of a regular pattern of living!
Firstly, refraining from our routine activities gives us the opportunity to make time for other things, such as visiting family or friends, or pursuing something we have always wanted to do. Also, it gives us a chance to reflect on our priorities: when the way we use our time is no longer given by our routine, we have to make choices how we want to spend the days or weeks.
A reflection on the power of silence
Marlborough College Chapel 4th February 2019
I have to admit that I rather enjoyed a weekend which was unexpectedly less full of activity than some others. Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk, and apart from a few people on the way to Manton, there were not many people there. Later I realised that may have been because I took a wrong turn and had ended up on private property! Anyway, it made me think about how the power of silence. Especially when the snow seems to quieten everything around us, the only thing I could hear was the sound of my own footsteps and breathing.