Southfields’ Sketches – Reflections from the Senior Chaplain

The absolute highlight of this week was the House Harmony finals in the Memorial Hall. Congratulations to the winners C1, who sang ‘Fix You’, by Cold Play. This was a display of stunning talent that held the Hall captive. The finals were masterfully organised by Mr. Will Finlay and Mr. Philip Dukes and both audience and performers excelled. My personal favourite was Ivy House who sang, ‘It’s a new Dawn’.

In other news from around the College, we welcome a new receptionist, Corrina, who is absolutely loving her new job.

I had an amazing conversation with Jamie Brooks (C2 L6), who is from Edington, just outside of Devizes. On a school trip to the Coxwell Great Barn on Tuesday, a favourite of Old Marlburian William Morris, Jamie told me that nearby to his home is Roundway Down – the site of a huge English Civil War battle. He and his brother, fascinatingly, comb the fields with a metal detector and regularly collect Musket balls!

And because I promised him I would, I extend my congratulations to Felix Sutton (CO L6), whose entrepreneurial spirit means selling Munchies in house for 50p a packet. He is a popular man at 9.00pm!

I enjoyed lunch on Wednesday with Vic and Val and Mauve on Support Staff, who easily hit 10,000 steps a day on their Fitbits. We managed to solve all the country’s Brexit woes in one sitting. And I enjoyed having a wander through the new Summer School office, to talk about a couple whose wedding plans will see a service in our College Chapel in August, and to see the wonderful new refurbishment and to catch up with Kate Abbott up in Residential Properties, all the way up on the top floor among the Angels in the roost!

In the afternoon, six members of the Charity Think Tank committed to a ‘Make Over Day’ at the New Road Centre, with the help of our Development Director, Jan Perrins. The Charity is very appreciative for the offering of Lily Fowler (IH L6), Lola Cracknell (IH L6), Rosie Pembroke (EL L6), Tegan Dixon-Clarke (DA L6), Olivia James (CO L6) and Minty Mills (DA L6). Well done Ladies!

Mr. Matt Gow, Head of Politics, and I, are very much looking forward to the trip we are planning and hosting involving 10 pupils going out to Sarajevo at the end of March where we will study the Genocide at Srebrenica. This is a sobering trip I have hosted in the past, but very important lessons must continue to be learned, one generation after the next, about just how dark we can make our world.

In Chapel this past week, fittingly, Dr. Blokland emphasised the local Foodbank, as Churches throughout the UK, both last Sunday and this upcoming Sunday, recognise ‘Harvest Thanksgiving’. In Shell Chapel I spoke to the pupils about all the opportunities we have to give thanks to God for what we have by virtue of being responsible all along the chain of production for any particular good. At all the stages of Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption and Disposal, humankind can be responsible about the way it handles the goods it creates for its own good.

This upcoming Sunday, Thanksgiving will again be the theme. At the College Eucharist at 10.15, the Master and Sacristan Ella Hall (MM U6), will administer chalices for the first time. Ella, read the lesson beautifully on Monday morning, and turned out for Chapel bright and early, proving an enormous help to me with the morning set-up. Annabel Chesher (LI U6), will play ‘Cavetina’ on her Classical Guitar from up in the Gallery whilst Communion is being received. This hauntingly beautiful piece is from the movie, ‘The Deer Hunter.’
On Sunday night, the guest for the Garnett Room Speaker series is Mr. John Geake, OM, who chairs the charity, ‘Send a Cow.’

Finally, I look forward to a new regular column where I will offer the story of any number of our staff and support staff, who are willing to participate in being interviewed by me, to tell something amazing about where their life’s journey has taken them. Dennis Dsouza, in Common Room Catering, has an amazing tale to tell and I can’t wait to reveal it!

Rollo is snoring in the window nook in my study, so I better wake him up, sign off, and go for a walk. Until next week, ‘Every Blessing’ to you from our astronomically Generous Creator.

Reverend Tim Novis
Senior Chaplain
Twitter: @MCol_Chapel

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