Townsend Church of England School – Dedication Service

Readings: Job 28: 12-19 & 1 Corinthians 3: 16-23

Well, for those of you who might be new to the cathedral, welcome and for those who have been here before, welcome back.

I don’t know about you lot but I’m having quite a good week. I hope you are as well. I’m getting excited about this Saturday because that’s when I officially, properly start working here in the cathedral, and officially, properly start working in other places, like with you in Townsend.
The beginning of the new academic year is a big event in the diary, and a place where there is so much potential.
Actually, It’s a new start for all of us. And big starts, and big changes bring with them all sorts of different things. Excitement, and happiness, challenges and test, and also possibly fear, and nerves.

And I’m sure that some of you would have gone through, or are going through some of these, whether you’ve:
Just started secondary school
Or joined the sixth form from another school
Or you’ve just come back from a life changing summer

Whether you’ve realised yet that moving up in school also means longer and harder work
Or you’ve taken up a new job in the school

A few weeks ago a moved to St Albans, and I’d never been here before going to the interview. I have a new job in a very, very, very big building (I mean, have you seen the size of this place?). New house, new area, new place to work, new job, new people to work with (and i don’t know if you’ve met them but some of them can be a little bit…..weird). And that’s all exciting, but its also a bit scary.

And that’s ok.

Because these moments in our lives bring with them possibilities. Right now we have the chance to be whoever we want to be this year. And the beginning of this term gives us the chance to re-invent ourselves or resolve to become a better person. You can become the person who tries hard, when maybe you didn’t before. You could be the person who isn’t afraid to ask questions any more. Or the person who isn’t scared of standing up for something you believe in.

But its up to us what we make of this opportunity. No one will sit through this year for you. No one will make your friends, or do your work, get involved in your groups for you. No one else can decide your attitude. Its up to you what you make of this moment, and this year.

If you were listening closely, you will remember that our first reading from the book of Job asked the question, where can wisdom be found?
Where is the ability to know what is right and true?
Where is the ability found, to make the right decisions?

And Job says that wisdom can’t be bought. It’s not something you can go to the shops for or order off Amazon. No amount of gold, or silver or jewels can buy wisdom, not even the rarest or finest of jewels. And nothing can make up for it.

Job says that wisdom is only found in the ways of God, that in following His ways, we can become wise. And we know from Jesus’ teachings, that involves loving God, ourselves and each other. And that when we move away from doing wrong and evil things, we show understanding.

Our actions display our understanding.

If you’re rude, and insulting, then it shows you have little understanding, and little wisdom.
But if you’re kind, accepting of others, and respectful, that shows that you not only understand the school policy about respecting all which Mr Wellbeloved will remind us of later, but you’re on the right path to gain true wisdom.

Paul reminds us however not to go in the other direction. In our second reading from one of his letters to the Corinthians he reminds us not to deceive ourselves, that we’re not perfect and that we ALL, and I do mean ALL, you, me, everyone sat up here, your teachers and your parents, ALL of us have things to learn.

And its good to be reminded of this.

This is your year.
Decide what you want from it.
Whatever you want to do with your year, know that you have your teachers, friends, parents, and all of us here in the cathedral to support and pray for you. And I look forward to getting to know you, and finding out what you do with this year.


Published by


Minor Canon Youth Chaplain at St Albans Cathedral. Dog owner, historian, technology geek, pilgrim.

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