Nick Adlem, our chaplain of nearly five years, is leaving in June for a pastoral appointment in Bournemouth, and will leave behind him a huge gap. So back in December 2012 I invited a team of interested staff, mostly practising Christians, to begin discussions about what was possible to put in place in terms of an “in-house” chaplaincy provision. They met for the first time in early January, and have done some truly extraordinary work which will be presented to all staff tomorrow.
I am writing just ahead of the publication and implementation of the work. The group of staff – senior leaders, teachers, learning mentor, teaching assistants – have delved deeply into a gardening metaphor, appropriate to our school name and the purpose of Jesus Christ in sowing his wisdom into our school.
Once fully grasped by the whole school, it will be possible for all staff to understand what their role is in terms of this powerful metaphor, and what it means for them to sow into children’s lives. The team behind the work want the work of the chaplaincy not just replaced but enlarged, in the way that only teachers who are there every day in class can enlarge it. We will be seeking help from Watling Valley clergy, from the amazing Bridgebuilders trust, from the Methodist and Anglican churches, and from Scripture Union.
It will be fascinating to see what staff and governors make of it tomorrow.