It’s a real privilege for me, as the vicar of Sutton-at-Hone, to be involved in the life of this school. This is a place where both children and staff are engaged with life’s big questions, are able to respond with brilliant insights and wise ideas, and regularly offer inspiring acts of worship.
Both the church and school communities remind each other that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They have so much to offer one other and working together helps both communities to thrive.
For example: the school has produced artwork which has been exhibited at St John’s, drawing members of the local community to the church; their use of the church is an encouragement to the congregation; and I’ve been able to introduce superb new Christian songs into the church’s Sunday repertoire which I’ve heard for the first time in school.
Equally, the church seeks to support the school by praying for it regularly; by providing a sacred and ancient space in which to worship and to explore the Christian story; and by church members, over the years, acting as governors and in other roles. I come into school as often as I can, supporting collective worship and RE.
This school is a place where every individual is valued. This is at the heart of the Christian faith and central to what the church community at St John’s tries to live out. We don’t always get this right, but it’s always the truth which we try to live up to. As the vicar, I’m available as a port of call to anyone in the local community with spiritual or pastoral need: you don’t have to describe yourself as a Christian or be a church-goer to get in touch.
You can find my contact details through the church website – www.darentvalleybenefice.org.uk – and our church services are events to which all are welcome, regardless of age, background or circumstance.