As half-term approaches, I have pondered on the challenge of rest. How do we find rest in today’s world of urgency, constant communication and screen obsession?

This half term has been a full one – Junior and Senior assemblies and boarders’ chapel have punctuated the rhythm and routine of school life. I have enjoyed preparing and delivering various stories and thoughts for the day, encouraging students and staff alike to question their place and purpose in the world.

We have looked at our wider responsibility as a community, and at what makes the Kingsley Family; and with all this, how do we apply Wesley’s challenge of All We Can?

“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.” John Wesley

I have very much enjoyed starting a worship band with students in the Senior School and developing our repertoire of hymns, old and new, and welcoming visitors, such as Tracey, to enthuse us about being involved in Operation Christmas Child, details of which can be found at:

So, after a full half-term, back to my thoughts of rest. I had the pleasure of visiting Westonbirt Arboretum last weekend; something that’s been on the ‘to-do’ list for a while. The colours are stunning at this time of year so, if you have time in the half term break,  I would certainly recommend a visit. As I wandered around I was aware of the peace and tranquilly. Just to stop for a few hours and take in my surroundings was a real pleasure, to pause and look up from the blinkers of school, day to day life and the demands of decorating my house. To see the riot of colour with a backdrop of bright blue sky, to hear the silence, to taste the hot chocolate and smell the coffee from the café. As I wandered around enjoying the company, the surroundings (and taking far too many photographs), the following Bible verses and quote that I had read came to mind:

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”

Psalm 3:3

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”

Matthew 11:28

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

I wonder what would happen if we took that invite to come and rest, if we allowed ourselves the time to consider our surroundings to have our heads lifted, with time to separate the past from the future.

Happy half term everyone; enjoy and be safe.