Reflections from the Chair - January

19th January 2021

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How are you doing?  ‘OK-ish’.  I sense that is where most of us are, at best, nearer to the surviving than the thriving end of the spectrum. 


We continue to live in extraordinary times and I continue to be in awe of all that chaplains are doing as they listen, care and pray amidst the storms of covid.  If you haven’t heard ‘thank you’ much recently, then please hear a big shout out of thanks from me.


Those of you who know about Harry Potter and Hogwarts may remember the Room of Requirement.  It’s a magic room that becomes anything, from a bathroom to a junk store, from a classroom to a war bunker, from a library to a hiding place.  The theologian, Ben Ryan says that chaplaincy is a bit like the Room of Requirement. 


Chaplains work with students, families, staff [including senior leadership], governors, church leaders and members of the community. 


Chaplains are teachers, crisis solvers, worship leaders, first-aiders, strategists, mentors, mini-bus drivers, pastors, and almost anything they are needed to be. It’s about meeting people where they are, and journeying alongside them.


Teaching is seriously hard work [I’m also in awe of teachers] but on the rare days when I spent a full day in the classroom I ended the day exhausted but curiously at ease.  I’d only worn one hat all day.


Being a one-person Room of Requirement is a challenge, and yet in schools and colleagues across the country, chaplains are meeting it in amazing ways.  Thank you.


Amidst all your care for others, please be kind to yourselves; and remember that the Room of Requirement can also become a place for you to rest and be refreshed when you need Sabbath time and no one else can get in there unless they also need to rest.



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