Tag Archives: community

New beginnings in our community

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Well here we are once again – already in September and with more than a touch of Autumn facing us as we were battered this afternoon by wind and rain! I hope you had a good break over the summer and had an opportunity to reconnect with those that you love.

When we come to the end of something – the summer, the school year or a job that we have really cared about, sometimes we can feel that it will never be the same again. We can almost mourn the passing of the stage that we are in or look back at times with rose-tinted spectacles on what it was really like. Of course it is important to recognise when we feel like this but also to try to get the balance right.

As we come into the new academic year we have a golden opportunity for new beginnings in all we do. As a school we see students join us in Year 7, others move on to the next key stage or sixth formers leave us for the next stage of their adventure. It is such an opportunity to learn grow and flourish and I always approach it with eager anticipation as we gather for the year ahead and it’s a great joy to see the energy of students and staff ¬†as we gather enthusiastically at the start of the year with so much opportunity lying ahead of us.

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We have just started to work closely with a primary school, Annecy Catholic Primary School. I once heard someone say that the art of being a Headteacher was “hanging around” and I was trying to do this in a meaningful way as I wandered around the playground. One of the boys came up to me and proudly told me butterflies were his favourite insect… we ended up talking about the different stages of metamorphosis and transformational change that the go through. As two fluttered around the playground he was entranced by their flight.

It too reminded me of how we can go through this transformational change, my children once had a book called Hermie and Wormie. In it the caterpillars didn’t realise that “God wasn’t finished with them yet” as they got frustrated before going on to soar on their wings when they had found out truly what they were meant to be. Maybe this is a familiar message to anyone working in education, or even as a parent, we are simply helping every child become the person God has “called them to be”.

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I think we’ve got to learn from this sense of awe, wonder and excitement. God provides us so many opportunities for new beginnings. We can start afresh and dream new dreams. We can fix broken relationships or move on from things that have got in the way in the past. Ultimately we can grow closer to each other and to God as well.

A few questions for the week and term ahead…

  • How can we grasp the opportunities provided for new beginnings?
  • What can we do to build the best relationships personally and professionally in our lives?
  • How can we find time for faith and to invite God to walk with us all on this journey in the year ahead?

I hope you have every happiness in the year ahead… enjoy the adventure in all that we do.
God bless.17cdc5af915c91e441d235c712d4e094--instagram-quotes-ideas-para.jpg

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The chosen people…

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This week we have the theme of Church as a focus in our school community. In a very simplistic way we probably think immediately of a variety of Church buildings or experiences we have had.

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In essence this may be missing the point. The Church is actually God’s “chosen people” – a community responding to the call of faith to come and worship together. In the photograph of the brick wall we can see the different shapes, colours and textures of every brick which are unique and different, yet together they make the one wall bound together to make something which is greater in some way.

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Some of my best experiences of being part of the Church have come in unusual surroundings ranging from celebrating Mass in a railway carriage on the way back from pilgrimage in Lourdes to gathering under a tree in Zimbabwe and sharing the Gospel with a community in a rural village awaiting a priest (who never turned up!). The word Catholic means universal or worldwide and it is a great joy that wherever you go in the world you belong to part of the community, even if we don’t understand the language we can engage with the faith we share.

The world feels at times troubled and divided facing great challenges in tragedy, terrorism and political division. However, I feel so blessed as I have the perfect tonic to recover my belief in humanity, faith, life and hope. I have the joy of walking into a vibrant school community each day. Being surrounded by young people (and staff!) so full of vitality, joy, energy and positivity brings joy to my heart.

This week we celebrate our Patron Saint’s Day as we celebrate the feast of St Peter and St Paul. This culminates for us on a day on Friday full of fundraising, activities and time celebrating all that is best in our school.

A few thoughts for the week ahead;

  • How can we build up the strength of the Church community?
  • What can we do to celebrate the diversity and difference we find in our communities?
  • How can we ensure we continue to see light and hope even in times of challenge and conflict?

So in advance thank you for making St Paul’s such a special community that I am so proud of because in essence #thisismychurch!

God bless.