From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

The book of John reveals the great mystery of the Incarnation:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Next Friday 25 and Sunday 27 November are, for me, the highlight of the year; the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. These twin events have come to mark the beginning of Christmas with a beautiful and traditional service of readings and music in the War Memorial Chapel. They are the evenings I most look forward to in the Trinity calendar; a time to reflect as the year winds down, to marvel again at the exquisite hymns, at once familiar and nostalgic, and to be reminded of the extraordinary beauty and power of the Christmas story as it unfolds through the nine lessons. It is a ceremony steeped in tradition, with the first service of Nine lessons and Carols being performed in 1880 in Truro Cathedral, and which has become synonymous with King’s College, Cambridge, who held their first service in 1918.

The Chapel seating is limited so, to avoid disappointment, please signal your intention by booking at this link.

This week in Middle School Assembly Ms Hronopoulos, Housemaster of Weeks House, continued our focus on mental health and taking responsibility for doing what we can to maintain and improve our own wellbeing. She used the metaphor of consciously and deliberately filling our wellbeing cup and referred to the presentation to me and my colleagues at the beginning of this term by Dr Adam Fraser which I also alluded to a couple of weeks ago when I shared his advice about not listening to our negative inner voice.

She shared his strategy of doing something to foster our wellbeing for ten minutes each day, and consciously and deliberately seeking out connectedness. She reminded the boys and young men of the Middle School of the value of exercise and physical activity, of friendship and face to face interaction, and the benefit of getting outside into the natural environment. As I reflected on her remarks, I couldn’t help but think that, as the Summer break approaches, it is important to reflect that a seven-week virtual holiday lying prone on the lounge playing online games or streaming movies is unlikely to be as beneficial for your son’s wellbeing as one with lots of face to face contact and interaction, lots of natural light, and lots of physical activity.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

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