A national impasse: Two warring factions, one day it seems to be going in one direction, the next it seems to be heading in the opposite. Yet at the end of this week. no one is any clearer about the eventual final outcome… and that’s just the 2018/2019 Premier League Title! Of course, I was referring to the ‘B’ word. As Christians and educators, I believe that we have a critical role to play in uncertain times. That role is not only to assuage rising fears and tensions but also to focus on enabling others and ourselves to experience “life in all its fullness.” Because as well as despite what is happening/not-happening nationally, it was with this thought in my mind that, following an all-day London meeting on Wednesday I dodged the polarised protestors at Westminster and crossed the river to Waterloo.

As an ardent theatre-goer and keen but limited thespian I relish the opportunity to see live theatre. My choice of play was a lesser-known drama by a giant of twentieth-century drama – The American Clock by Arthur Miller at The Old Vic. This vaudevillian piece documents the effects of the Great Depression on ordinary American families and its aftermath. In between, the jazz numbers and tap routines. the relevance of a work stemming from Miller’s own experience during a prolonged national crisis was plain for the audience to see. So even a night at the theatre is reflective of the great matter of our time.

Now time for a quick commercial break!

We at ODBE are delighted to serve our communities through a broad range of training and professional development opportunities. These are available to all schools and academies at bargain prices and across the Diocese. There are still places available for the forthcoming RE Conference on Tuesday 26th March at Moor Hall, Cookham.

Finally, for this week, my latest school visit took me to the high ground of Buckinghamshire and Chiltern Hills Academy. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Principal, Kevin Patrick and Chair of Governors, Andrew Brown. I was deeply moved to see the school’s Christian values of honesty, respect, compassion, love, forgiveness, self-discipline and hope clearly embedded in the thoughts, words and deeds of every member of the academy’s community I met. The highlight for me was a GCSE Drama class seen working on a group response to Brechtian drama, pantomime and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Who knows, my next visit to the Old Vic may be to see a member of the CHA alumni treading the boards?

‘Till next week.

Tony