...on Monday at Our Lady's Convent school in Loughborough. Pupils at this school won an outstanding number of prizes in the 2013 Schools Bible Project, and I was invited to present these at Morning Assembly. A quiet, friendly and reverent atmosphere in the school chapel, and one of the young winners read the poem she had written on the theme of Lazarus: this being ideally suited to November, the month when we pray for the dead, the whole assembly had this as its theme, and there were Scripture readings and prayers and a rousing hymn. Afterwards, it was a delight to meet the parents and prizewinners over fresh coffee and pastries: the school emphasises family values and a strong commitment to the Christian message and there was a great sense of common purpose and goodwill, as well as lots of lively talk and laughter.
A highlight came when one of the RE teachers asked me if I'd like to drop into one of the classes. A bright pleasant room, girls busy at their desks. He started a discussion: which incident in the Gospel of St Mark is perhaps the most pivotal? Girls a bit shy to join in at first, but then one raised her hand "Surely it was Caesarea Phillippi? When St Peter answered the question by saying that he was the Christ?" And then another raised her hand "Mmmm...but what about the baptism? In the river Jordan?" Impressive.
We drove back to London through darkening mist and - having risen at 5 am - I was tired, and glad there was no pressing afternoon engagement. But ended up working late on current book, must get it ready by deadline (see entry below). Bliss eventually to rest with big mug of tea.