This year, the BBC Children in need campaign raised over £50 million and counting. I wonder if you watched any of the BBC’s output that evening? It is, of course, formatted very cleverly, with entertainment clips interspersed with short films designed to elicit an emotional response from us sat at home watching. Nothing wrong with that of course and I suspect that, like me, many of you were moved to make a donation on the evening to the cause. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 we read that “God loves a cheerful giver”. This is an important and challenging Bible verse which encourages each of us to give (our money, time and talents) as we have decided in our hearts. Some will be able to give a lot and others will only be able to give a little; the verse is reminding us that how we give is equally as important as how much we are able to give.

I have been struck this term by the generosity and “cheerfulness” of the giving that the students have done throughout this term. Just in the last few weeks we have seen pupils making donations to purchase poppies in order to be part of the school’s Remembrance of those who gave their lives so that we might live in freedom today. We have also seen over 20 pupils and families generously put together Christmas shoeboxes to support the work of Samaritan’s Purse in bringing a bit of joy to disadvantaged children at Christmas time. Then, just last week, we had a home clothes day which saw the school joining in with the Children in need “Spotacular”. Many of you will have seen the pictures on Facebook of the wonderful outfits being worn by our Prep School students and some of you will have seen the “leg-waxing” photos and video from the excellent Senior School assembly which was put together and run entirely by the prefects. Overall, Kingsley School raised £673 For Children in Need. This was a great effort from a small school and, more importantly, the giving was done really cheerfully.

It is always good to be able to remind our pupils that, compared with many children who live in Bideford, Devon and elsewhere in the UK and around the world, they are very privileged. As a Methodist School we return regularly to the famous aphorism that has been attributed to 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.” Whilst it is debatable whether it was in fact Wesley who first said this, the sentiment remains and this is something that we place in front of the children frequently. It is a good maxim for life: do and be all you can. And give cheerfully!

Pete Last