“The love of God & our relationship with the living Christ do not hold us back from dreaming; they do not require us to narrow our horizons. On the contrary, that love elevates us, encourages us & inspires us to a better & more beautiful life. Much of the longing present in the hearts of young people can be summed up in the word “restlessness.” Restless discontent, combined with exhilaration before the opening up of new horizons, generates a boldness that leads you to stand up & take responsibility for a mission. This healthy restlessness typical of youth continues to dwell in every heart that remains young, open & generous. True inner peace coexists with that profound discontent. As St Augustine said “you have created us for yourself, Lord, & our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” A young person stands on two feet as adults do, but unlike adults, whose feet are parallel the young person always has one foot forward, ready to set out & to spring ahead, always racing onward. To talk about young people is to talk about promise & to talk about joy. Young people have so much strength; they are able to look ahead with hope. A young person is a promise of life that implies a certain degree of tenacity. They are foolish enough to delude themselves, & resilient enough to recover from that delusion.” (“Christus Vivit” by Pope Francis)
Last Thursday we held our Parish meeting with Fr George & Julia Brooke, the Abbey Trust’s Delegates for the Parishes who, following earlier meetings at Our Lady & the Holy Angels in Gilling in April, & at St Aidan’s Oswaldkirk last month, were keen to hear our wisdom & advice as Fr Gabriel & his Council decide how to cover the pastoral needs of the immediate locality given a shortage of monk-priests. I am grateful for the 16 who attended: at Gilling there were 35, & at Oswaldkirk 18. The feedback will be invaluable. Please pray for all three communities at this moment of transition & change, as, in the words of Pope Francis above, “we have one foot forward, ready to set out & to spring ahead with hope, promise & tenacity.”
Providentially, on the feast of St Benedict last Thursday, we were able to send out to the parents & wider community the results of our recent Ofsted Inspection of 19th & 20th June 2019. The Inspector rated the School Good in all 5 categories with her key findings headed “this is a good school.” She rates the support for pupil’s personal development & welfare as outstanding. “The school’s warm & nurturing environment encourages pupils to be respectful of others & to become resilient, responsible learners. Pupils enjoy school & attendance is high. Behaviour is good & pupils feel safe. She praises the Head Teacher, the quality of teaching & notes the significant improvement in the quality of education since the previous inspection in March 2017. We are delighted with the Report & it’s affirmation of all the hard work & results achieved thus far by our young & inexperienced staff who have made remarkable progress, initially under the leadership of Mrs Emma Barrs, & before that under Mrs Janet Spittal, & now under Mr Gerard Eddy. Happily, our Executive Head, Mr David Harrison, was able to be present, along with Mr Kevin Duffy, Diocesan Director of Schools, & they too were moved & impressed by the warmth of feedback from the Inspector. A summary sheet of the key findings is available at the back of Church. We are deeply grateful to the Staff, Governors & pupils for all they are evidently achieving in growing the life & faith of our School, & indeed those parents who have kept faith with us on our journey so far. I would ask each of you to shout this very good news within your homes & our locality so that, as was the case with the earliest believers, the ultimate accolade was that the enquirer & the hesitant would approach a believer, pull them on the sleeve & say “we want to come with you.” Currently we have 67 pupils & we are keen & eager to grow onwards & upwards. Please keep them all in your prayers.
Some interesting information from our website: Visits in the last 30 days: 1,466 Average pages visited 3.53 Last month’s daily visits ranged from 110 per day to 350 per day With my love & prayers, Fr Bede.
Safeguarding: Our Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Parish is Amanda Toone. We now have a dedicated email address for her in this important role for the ongoing safety of each & every one of us in the Parish. If you have need of her help or advice, & if there is a safeguarding issue which you wish to report, please contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org