Carol Nicholas-Letch

Who Needs a Tonic
One of the joys of being responsible for the two Parochial Parishes of Christchurch Whittington and All Saints Wretton with Stoke Ferry is being Chaplain to All Saints Academy in Stoke Ferry.
Apart from being there for the wellbeing of the staff & taking weekly Collective Worship & Festival Services, I also take great pleasure reading stories to the youngest members, not only from the Bible, but also about bunnies with hats on, talking mice and occasionally dinosaurs.
Recently, we have been telling the 4 to 5 year olds about the real meaning of Christmas but, of course, not forgetting their anticipation of -you’ve guessed it Father Christmas. Their class teacher had been telling the tale of how Father Christmas’ real name was St Nicholas and how hundreds of years ago St. Nicholas, hearing of a very poor family, dropped some coins down the chimney, so that he would not be identified. They landed in the three daughters stockings hanging on the mantle shelf to dry. Hence St. Nick, Santa etc. From there we have covered The Three Wise Men following a new star, shepherds in the fields with their sheep moaning that nothing ever happens to them and angels appearing, proving them wrong and urging them to go quickly to Bethlehem to see a new King who had just been born.
We asked the children what presents they would take to the new babe – they were not impressed with the Wise Men’s choices- and they ranged from a pushchair, baby blanket, baby bottle and a dinosaur – dinosaurs come up quite regularly from one quarter!
As I was leaving after this session and my knees had been hugged, a little girl of about four asked me very seriously if I would like to come to her house for a sleepover. I managed to keep a straight face- the trainee teacher had to turn away- and I told her very gently that I thought it best if she asked her Mummy first.
No matter if I am stressed, sad, hurt or worried when I enter that school no matter what class I am visiting, when I leave I have a spring in my step for they lift my spirit and I know without a shadow of a doubt that Christ’s Light shines out of every on of them and that the teaching staff are indeed angels.
Carol Nicholas-Letch

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