On Sunday, we will be holding our Remembrance Service, and while the numbers have had to be reduced this year, I have no doubt that it will remain a powerful reminder of the impact of such incredible social upheaval and loss of life. To hear the names of those who died, often so soon after leaving Felsted, makes increasingly distant events feel incredibly real and current. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be a Head, receiving news every week of former pupils and staff who had been killed in action, and what it must have done to the community at the school (and elsewhere) to go through this on an almost daily basis.
Why is it important for us to remember? We must understand the level of sacrifice, in order to recognise why we must value our freedom, and not take this for granted. We must respect the commitment that was shown by so many, and remember the values that mattered so much that so many were willing to do so much to defend them. I am so grateful that I do not live in an era when I would be sending our young men and women off to such a destructive conflict, and on Sunday morning, I will be remembering the many Felsted students, staff and friends who suffered so much in the first half of the twentieth century.
We are also reflecting on the impact of the COP26 summit, which reaches its conclusion today. Earlier today, I met with two of our Upper Sixth students who are determined to leave their mark on the school, by helping us to ensure that we put environmental sustainability at the heart of what we are doing as a school. I very much look forward to working with them, and others, in the coming weeks and months in order to move us forward further in this area, and build on the foundations that we have previously put in place. There is a real opportunity to harness the energy and enthusiasm of this generation to create real change, and I am delighted that our students are speaking up on this crucial issue.
In Chapel this morning, we heard from Hannah Tulloch, who works with the Ascension Church and Felsted Mission. She was encouraging everyone involved with Felsted to support 'Project Christmas Cheer' which is seeking to provide gift boxes, to go along with the food parcels that they normally provide, for families to enjoy at Christmas. Working in an area of Newham which has among the highest rates of child poverty in England, Hannah was able to explain the impact that these gifts could have on young lives this year, and we are encouraging each Tutor group to work together to complete at least one of these gift boxes. If anyone else would like to support this initiative, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the School Chaplain, Rev'd Little (firstname.lastname@example.org).