Friday, 4 April 2014

The man with the hat

It was his first visit to St James's School, but today Michael Ipgrave, the Bishop of Woolwich (left) came to our end of term school  Easter service in the church and afterwards toured the Key Stage 2 building at Alexis Street, meeting the children and the teachers and looking at their work.

The children had worked hard to decorate the church for Easter with a colourful display of work that the congregation can continue to enjoy throughout the Easter celebrations.

'Have you ever felt really sad' the Bishop asked. What do you do when you're sad?

 'Cry' they chorussed.

'Have you ever felt so happy that you can't stop telling everyone what had happened?' he then asked, before going on to talk about Mary Magdalene coming to tend Jesus's tomb. She was sad. She was crying. Then she met Jesus.

He was alive. She was filled with joy and she rushed off to tell the others what she had seen.

It was a gripping and effective way of getting to the heart of the Easter story in a way everyone could understand.

Earlier in the service I had interviewed Michael. 'Tell us about your hat' I said.

'It's shaped a bit like a flame. It reminds us of the Holy Spirit coming like flames of fire at Pentecost' said the bishop and went on to say 'it reminds me that I need to be dependant on the power of the Holy Spirit.'

'What about the staff that you are holding?' I asked. It reminds me that I am a shepherd, said Bishop Michael, and I have to look after God's people and feed them spiritually.

Today Bishop Michael did both of those things for us at St James's School. It's was a good day and a fitting conclusion to the term before we broke up for Easter.

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