Rector's Letter

We are currently looking to appoint a children and families worker to support the work of the church in the community with young people. As part of this process we recently interviewed some candidates with a panel of year eights from Lockyer’s school. It was the first time I had worked with a panel of young people as the interviewers. Wow!-was I impressed. The questions they had planned were both thoughtful and creative and enabled the candidates to show something of who they really were. The panel was no pushover and clearly the question ‘can you tell us a joke’ was not one the candidates expected although definitely one that you would expect a children’s worker to be able to answer well. 

After the interviews I reflected with others that we hear many criticisms of the education system but it has come a long way since my time at school. I can’t imagine being asked at middle school to interview an adult and would not have had the confidence to do so anyway. Clearly as young people are given responsibility so their confidence grows and it was encouraging to witness that. 

It reminds me of the experience my husband recently had – a day spent racing fast cars on a disused runway. The instructor must have had nerves of steel to sit alongside a novice as he hit speeds in excess of 190 miles an hour. My husband noted how terrifying it was, initially, to drive at that speed but after about 3 or 4 goes, being encouraged and coached along the way, he became reasonably confident and enjoyed the experience immensely; his smile lasted most of the following weekend. 

We all have to start somewhere. What a difference it makes to be encouraged and to be given the chance to just have a go with the active support of others; someone who is on our side. Confidence can soar and we can surprise ourselves and others by what we can achieve. I certainly found the young interviewers from Lockyer’s were able to make a hugely positive and valued contribution to our appointment process with the encouragement and support that the school provided for them. 

Sunday Services: St Huberts: Holy Communion 8am; St Nicholas: Morning worship 10am (with Holy Communion except on 4th Sunday when it is Family service) 

 Jane Burgess 
Church of England | Diocese of Salisbury

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