It was wonderful to see so many pupils, parents, grandparents, Governors and friends of Kingsley School in the Methodist Church at the start of term. Here at Kingsley, as we are a Methodist School, we start and end each term with a service in this Church and you are welcome as part of the school community.

Thank you to Eleanor (our Head Girl) for the reading (Matthew 5:14-16) from the Sermon on the Mount; surely one of the most famous “speeches” of all time.

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”

When are lights most effective? The answer, of course, is that lights are most effective when it is dark.

There is no point turning the lights on in the middle of a bright, sunny day; it is just a waste of energy.

There is no point shining a torch towards the sun; it will have absolutely no effect.

No; lights are most effective when it is dark.

There is much darkness in our world. Every day we see, read and hear about so much that is dark. Innocent people are injured and killed, there are wars and rumours of war; there is hatred and intolerance wherever we look, as people are frightened of those who are different from them.

And we are called to be “the light of the world”. This is a huge responsibility but it is also an exciting challenge. So how can we be light in the darkness? How can we, staff, parents and pupils of a small Methodist school in Devon be a light to the world? Well, the answer is as simple as it is challenging…we have to be a light to each other in our own school community and to those who are around us. Printed in your service booklet is a very famous saying which is often attributed to one of the founders of Methodism, John Wesley:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

This is what you and I are called to do. It is not always easy and we will often fail in our attempts but if we don’t try then we are like a person who can hear that someone is trapped in a deep well, we know that we have a torch to help locate them, but we can’t be bothered to turn it on. They will remain trapped and in darkness if we do not let our light shine.

As a school, we are a microcosm of the world. We have pupils from over a dozen nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. We have athletes and aesthetes. We have poets, musicians, drama kings and queens; we have singers and shouters, dancers and divas. And that’s just the staff! We have boarders and day pupils; we have some pupils with special educational needs and we have some pupils with physical disabilities. We have pupils of every shape, size, personality and temperament.

We are a community. Every year we lose people from our Community and we go through the process of saying goodbye to them and then welcoming new people in to join us. This is both exciting and a little bit overwhelming, especially if you are one of the new people.

Please, all of you, let your light shine. Be friendly; be kind; be supportive; be gentle; be encouraging; do all that you can to play your part in helping Kingsley School to be a school filled with light and not darkness.


Pete Last