“I want to say a word about Religion. Life is an overcoming and a giving out. It is not only a taking of what we can get. And it is not only a giving in work and deeds; it is the giving of ourselves, freely and in comradeship.” Lex Devine 1925
The life of the chapel was always important to Lex Devine, the founder of Clayesmore. He wasn’t particularly interested in theology or in the differences between the various Christian denominations, which he confessed to finding ‘mystifying’. For Lex, the life of the chapel and the worship that takes place there should always be a sign that religion means ‘standing together and helping one another in time of trouble.’
While I am more interested in theology than Lex was, I do share his commitment to the life of the chapel as being concerned primarily with the people who are part of this wonderful community.
Clayesmore is a busy place in which to live and work. We encourage busy-ness in the hope that pupils here will work with lots of different people, make new friends, discover new talents, develop the capacity to ‘give things a go’, and learn to treat setbacks as being a necessary part of their growth. The chapel exists to help pupils and staff to flourish at school, and in their future lives. But I hope also that it stands as a visible reminder that who we are, our hearts and our character, is of more importance than anything we achieve or win.
The chapel is here to support all members of the school community – pupils, staff and parents. It is here to support those with Christian commitments and those without. Those of different faiths and those of none. Those with questions to ask and those who feel they have all the answers. Those who want to discuss the finer points of theological disputes and those who just want a cup of hot chocolate. Those who want some advice and those who just need someone to listen. Those who love a good chapel service and those who can’t see the point.
You are all welcome.
With every blessing,
Andrew West, Chaplain