Farewell to School

Last week was very busy taken up with my final school chaplaincy duties before retiring. We held a school Eucharist in the cathedral and I spoke on the Good Shepherd. I explained that the word ‘Chaplain’ is taken from the Latin cappa. In medieval times a cappa was the cloak soldiers used when they were on the battlefield to give them protection, comfort, and warmth. I hoped that I had fulfilled my role of providing safety and comfort over the last 6 years in school. Ish helped me out with the talk by dressing in a cloak and holding a shepherd’s crook while telling the children about his job when he worked on a farm many years ago looking after sheep. It all seemed to go down well and the staff and children enjoyed it.

The following day I was presented in assembly with a lovely card from the pupils as you can see it was a painting of a tree with all the pupils’ fingerprints on it as leaves. I felt it was very symbolic and beautifully presented I shall treasure it. I have felt so privileged to serve the children in this way I will miss them and also the staff and parents who are all amazing and kind.

On Friday my last day at the end of our Lent term service Bishop Graeme our Acting Dean led the service and I was very moved when at the end he got all the pupils to stand in a big circle holding hands round the cathedral and stood me in the middle and prayed for me. I think the children were as surprised as I was when he did this and I felt very honoured to receive such a lovely send off it was very emotional saying goodbye afterwards.

In the evening we had the end of term school concert in the cathedral and I was very proud of our grandson who opened the concert with some drum solo work and he also sang in the choir.

On Saturday Ish and I drove to Newport where he gave a Praise Party it was great fun with a congregation we have visited several times. Today we are going away to the west country for a few days break, tired, excited but happy.


Lord God, we thank you for the opportunities we have to serve you. We pray we will always be open to obey as you lead and guide us as our Good Shepherd. Take us where you want us to be, to spread your message of love and hope. Thank you for your protection and keep us safe. Amen


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