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Thought For The Week - 09-05-23

A coronation to mark change

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

This weekend I watched the Coronation with my mum. Despite dementia she still has very strong memories of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation when she was 10 years old. She still talks about being allowed to watch the events of 1953 at a neighbour’s house because they had a TV. I’m not sure which was most memorable – the Coronation or being allowed to watch a TV!

How things have changed since then.

Yet a Coronation is a historic event and it made me wonder how our children and young people will remember the events of this weekend in their future lives. I also wondered how they will have made the connection to the Christian service at the heart of the events and celebrations.

I spent a few moments exploring the liturgy for the Coronation, reflecting on its meaning and symbolism. Information about it is available here. They throw light on all aspects of the service and particularly how the ancient traditions of Coronation were adapted to reflect the 21st century country we are now. The liturgy also brings to life King Charles’s vision for his reign. It made me reflect on how we build our present day Church School visions on our older foundation documents . Also, how through our visions, we interpret them to reflect an ever-changing world and the needs of our communities.

The resounding theme of the Coronation was servanthood. It culminated in the anointing of the King. A sign that he is set aside for service to his people.

Of particular note was the personal prayer which the King made. It reflected the words of the popular hymn, ‘ I vow to thee my country’ and the words of Galatians 5,  “serve one another humbly in love”. I know that many of you will connect with this idea of servanthood and that this will be a feature of your day to day work.

The prayer also references another strong theme of the Coronation – diversity of faith and belief.  In doing so, it reflects changes in our country since the last Coronation. No doubt those of you who watched the service will have seen the diverse group of faith leaders and representatives who took part in the inclusive church service. 

For me these themes reflect in the work of our church school family. As servant leaders we blend the ancient and modern as we build on our historic foundations, bringing to life the Christian vision for education in the modern day. We share and interpret stories from 2000 years ago. We make them relevant to guide our staff and pupils for their future lives. And, particularly at the moment, we work to ensure our schools are inclusive and equitable, valuing and celebrating all. 

After all the pomp, circumstance and partying of the weekend many of you will be hoping for a quieter week. I know you will all be serving humbly. My wish is that you can find a few moments to reflect on this new period of British history and consider what that might mean for your pupils, staff and communities.

Have a great week.


from June Richardson, Schools Effectiveness Advisor

Dear God,

As your servants we come before you

Guide and strengthen us in our work

Grant that we may humbly follow your example

Give us wisdom, patience, compassion and hope.

Today and always.


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