Church of England Diocese of Guildford Dunsfold


23 Jun 2021, 6 a.m.

I can still remember one of my secondary school teachers who was so passionate about her love for physical geography that her enthusiasm rubbed off on her students and led me to apply to study the subject at university. I can still picture the teacher talking to us whilst standing in a middle of a river or pointing out the dramatic awe and wonder of the glacial landscape of the mountains when we were on a geography field trip.

Most of us can identify a teacher or someone in our lives who has helped to shape us and encouraged our formation and development as we have transitioned from childhood into adulthood.

This week we are looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate the work of our teachers through a national Thank a Teacher Day that takes place on Wednesday 23rd June. You can send an individual card to a teacher or school staff, or if you prefer you can contribute to a national Thank a Teacher card which will include contributions from children and adults from all over the UK.

We know from the different accounts in the Bible, that people referred to Jesus as Rabbi or teacher and that he made time for children and listened to them. In Matthew’s gospel, there is a powerful account of Jesus rebuking the disciples for trying to turn the children away from him:

"Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there."

Jesus sends a strong message that children are precious and important to God and should always be welcomed and cherished so they can be nurtured and flourish.

This week we would normally be welcoming over 3,000 Year 6 children to the cathedral as part of our annual Leavers’ Services to mark their transition from primary to secondary school.

Due to Covid restrictions, it won’t be possible to do this in person and to see the children’s faces light up as they walk through the cathedral doors with their school banners. However, the Education team have produced some great Leavers' Service resources and materials so that our schools and churches can come together to offer a Leavers’ Service for the children and parents in the church or in the school.

Our forthcoming Diocesan Synod on 30th June provides another opportunity to hear and listen to children in our Diocese, when children from two of our Church schools will be sharing how their own faith has grown and developed through being part of a Christian community – their school.