The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 29th September 2023

Students in a Church

We celebrated our Harvest Festival yesterday at St Philip’s, with Years 1 to 6 joined by a great turnout of parents to hear our choirs perform, sing the traditional harvest hymns, and reflect on the meaning of this time of year. In my address, I used a saying that I really like, “When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence”. This can mean many things, from sharing the produce of an allotment that has gone into overdrive, to those of us who live more comfortable lives donating to charities that support those less fortunate.

This is a message that spans the religious communities of the world. It could be sharing the iftar meal with someone far from home in Ramadan, or the reflection in Judaism at Sukkot, giving thanks for what we have in contrast to the privations of our ancestors. Being grateful for what we have, and sharing it with other is a truly universal message.

We have supported local charity Off The Fence at Harvest time for many, many years. They do so much good work in our city for the homeless and vulnerable. Paul Young, the founder of the charity and a good friend of our school, has stepped down as he prepares to start a new life in Australia in the new year. We wish him all the best, and will say our goodbyes when he joins us for our service at the end of term. Our Harvest Appeal remains open until early next week, and you can donate here St Christopher’s Prep Hove is fundraising for Off the Fence Trust.

I was very pleased to welcome Reverend Julio Abraham, the new CEO of Off The Fence, into our school this week. He gave a wonderful Assembly for our Seniors, looking at his journey to his new role, and reflecting on our city compared to other places he has lived in a clearly very interesting life. As with last week’s visit from Rabbi Rader, our aim is to invite representatives from a wide range of faith communities to speak to our children, reflecting the diversity of our city.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections