On a visit to a packed school sports hall at Bandon Grammar School on Thursday, 12th December, Bishop Paul Colton told students that our Christmas celebrations have become so packed with ‘stuff all over the place’ that we can lose sight of the meaning of it all.
‘It’s like trying to find something precious that you really need, in a school locker that is packed full of stuff, or trying to get access to that one photo, message or file on a laptop or phone that is chaotic and full of years of stuff,’ he said. ‘Christmas is like that – centuries of traditions and customs as well as the ones we think are essential to making our own Christmas special all piled on layer upon layer. We have also to engage the brain God gave us when it comes to looking at the two main Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus; Matthew and Luke – each so different in many ways. What is the meaning of it all? And having asked ourselves that, the next question is’, said Bishop Colton ‘how does this story change me?’
After the Service organised by the school chaplain, the Reverend Anne Skuse, the Bishop, while walking through the locker area, sprung an impromptu ‘examination’ of some lockers on a group of students, to reinforce his point. ‘How do you find anything you really need in there?’ he joked.
The School Carol Service was attended by students, staff, local clergy, the chairperson of the school board (Canon Paul Willoughby) and representatives of local charities who were presented with the fruits of the school’s Christmas collections and a huge number of hampers assembled by the students.