Friday, 19th May 2017
On Thursday it is Ascension Day, the day upon which the Church celebrates the ascension of Christ into Heaven and his subsequent physical departure from the world. Of course Easter, when the Resurrection is celebrated, is a reminder that Jesus was God and that he had broken the bounds of death. On Ascension Day, we are reminded that Christ has left the world to be tended and looked after by us. I spoke to the School on Monday about this. I read out to them the wonderful words of St Theresa of Avila, which is one of my favourite prayers:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
It is clear that St Theresa thought that it should be us who looked after the world that God had created and that His work should be done by us. This gives us a huge responsibility to act with care and compassion, with thoughtfulness and with determination. The world is a place of complexity and of difficulty but it is also a place of great joy and pleasure and of happiness and it is almost entirely the actions of others and of oneself that makes it so. I believe very strongly that we have a duty to do Christ’s work here on earth, to make the world a better place for others and for ourselves, and I believe we can make a very great difference. I would like CCCS pupils to go through life believing that they can make a difference to the world and that they really can change the lives of those around them. If they can leave CCCS knowing that, then they have learnt a very great deal. Those are decent thoughts I think for Ascensiontide.
This is one of my favourite weekends of the year. It is the culmination of Arts Week when the William Walton Hall is turned into an attractive gallery of art; the walls become covered with the most striking images. There is so much art that is worth seeing that I cannot recommend a visit to you strongly enough. Please come and look at what our pupils have achieved. There is so much that I can talk about but there is a particularly striking picture of a forest in winter completed by Form 7, where the trees seem to jostle with one another, the forest thick with trunks and branches that tempt one to stretch out one’s hand to touch them, to feel a substance which isn’t there of course. Tomorrow we will listen to the music performed by our pupils and to the House songs. I will leave you to experience the quality of the performances; having heard much of the music being practised, however, I know that we are in for a treat. The House songs are all taken from one of my favourite musicals (I am not sure whether it is acceptable to say this) “The Sound of Music” which will delight, I am sure. One of my favourite songs though is not featured; it is the song when Maria finds that she has fallen in love with Captain Von Trapp. She sings, with great poignancy, that this wonderful thing has come to pass because “somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good!” Clearly it is worth our pupils behaving well in terms of their future prospects!
This afternoon, the Pre-Prep is holding a regatta in the playground. Given the weather recently, this is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Wonderful boats have been made out of all manner of recycled objects; perhaps this is a model for a society of the future. I look forward very much to discovering which is the boat capable of carrying the heaviest load, of sailing the fastest, and of travelling at speed down a shoot. Let us see what the engineers of the future can achieve.
I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow and hope you have a lovely weekend.