Friday, 23rd June 2017
At this time of year, something very odd seems to happen to time. It seems to speed up in the most remarkable way. Life seems to turn into one of those black and white "movies" of the 20s where everything happens at double speed accompanied by the sound of frenetic music going on in the background. As the piano plays, figures rush through life, tripping up, falling off buildings, driving at great speed. The central figures, latter day Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keeton, seem to rush through life having hardly the time even to react to events going on around them. So much has occurred in such a short space of time. On Wednesday, I saw the 1st XI convincingly beat New College on our playing fields, yesterday the whole Prep school attended the confirmation service where Bishop James Jones from St Helena, confirmed seven Form 7s and 8s. On Monday and Tuesday, Forms 5 and 6 went for a walk on the Ridgeway, staying at the Court Hill Centre, a place of such exquisite beauty; when I arrived after their supper to see how they were getting on, the boys were running around a large beech wood perched high above the Vale of the White Horse, the air heavy with the scent of elder. Last week the Form 8s spent 5 days at Calshot activity centre in the shadow of the Isle of Wight where they did any number of activities, today Form 6 will be running a charity run round Christ Church Meadows, no doubt in double speed and of course tomorrow, the whole school will be at Meadow Fair and Sports Day, one of our year's most splendid days. I look forward to seeing you all there. And in the evening, we will have the parents' Ball in the Great Hall of Christ Church, a setting surpassing any imaginable. And I haven't even mentioned Pre-Prep and Nursery who have been so busy rushing through life at a speed which will convey them to old age before they can blink! Life at Christ Church is so busy – nothing stands still. And next week is the same .... Being a pupil at Christ Church is a full time job but one which will shape the lives of its pupils forever. I am so grateful; for all the staff who go to the effort of putting themselves out on behalf of the pupils by arranging and taking the boys out and about. Without their efforts none of this would be possible. And it all happens at the same time of year as people are writing reports and marking exams, none of which are activities which can be done quickly. We are so lucky in the quality of the staff which we have.
The end of term will culminate with Speech Day on Friday 7th July in the Cathedral. I very much hope that all of you will be there. We will be addressed by Councillor Bob Price, the Leader of Oxford City Council, one of our very close neighbours and friend of the school. He is a man of integrity and real interest in the City and the local area and I have no doubt he will have some most penetrating reflections to send us away with.
For most people, the result of the general Election was a big surprise; in almost every newspaper, the actual result was not predicted. There was one exception to this rule though and that was the political analysis column of our very own Christ Church News where the editor Daniel Kelly rightly predicted the outcome. Look out for Daniel's name in the future on Election Night Special. I am extremely impressed with the weekly newspaper which is written exclusively by the pupils. Not only do we see pupils enjoying writing about current affairs and school issues but also being motivated to producing a publication on a regular basis.
We sent off the honours boards to be inscribed this week. 10 / 15 of our Form 8 boys have obtained honours at their senior schools this year, that's two thirds of the year group; it's hard to imagine that many other schools in the country can boast such a figure. Very many congratulations to all the boys and their teachers and see you tomorrow.