25 Jul 2019 • Articles
August brings the season of summer holidays and the start of the long school break for those who are still studying.
When I was at senior school the Bible reading on the last day of each term was Philippians 4: 4-9, "Rejoice in the Lord... be gentle... be thankful... whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, honourable, think about this... and the God of peace will be with you. Then we sang a hymn which began 'Lord dismiss us with thy blessing,' and on the first morning of the next term we sang 'Lord behold us with thy blessing' to the same tune. It was a ritual which gave us a sense of belonging, to God, to the school and to each other, so even after the freedom of the long summer holidays it seemed quite natural to be together again.
This year was one of those significant anniversaries of my school life. My year-group are now scattered across Britain and around the globe, but many were keen to meet and to visit the old school again. After much planning we now have a grand reunion each year, with friends arriving from Australia, Canada, America, South Africa and France as well as every corner of England. We walk round the school together, remembering all the delights and the difficulties, all the playfulness and the pranks, all the teachers and our fellow-students. At our reunion banquet we talk and laugh as if we had never been apart, and when we finally say goodbye, we agree that our school really built us into a community, a group of people bound together by a lively and kindly sense of humour and caring and respect for each other. Perhaps that was even more important than all the exams we took.
With every blessing for the summer,