Dear Parents and Guardians

Even though the pandemic has raised the threshold for defining a ‘busy or demanding week’, I think this particular week will enter the annals of St John’s and I hope, wherever you are, that your family remains healthy and well. I am conscious that the impact of the past week will have been felt by many and I wanted to send the best wishes of all at St John’s to those families who are suffering from COVID symptoms at present.

I wanted to say a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the support and teaching staff at St John’s who have done such a wonderful job to support the boys over the past few days. To the boys as well, particularly those in the Upper School, your maturity and sense of purpose has helped to make the very most of this challenging situation. We are certainly looking forward to things settling down a little, following the half-term break.

I hope you all enjoy reading this week’s newsletter and seeing for yourself what has been happening both on and offline during the week. A particular ‘well done’ to our choristers who had a wonderful Choral Training Day on Sunday with Mr Hope, Miss Lush and Mr Jones. We are all looking forward to the boys singing at this year’s Carol Services at the end of term.

On a personal note, I have been particularly touched this week by many of the boys’ responses following the tragic murder of Sir David Amess, and their own reflections of his character, achievements and ‘influence’. His life, although largely unknown to us, clearly left a profound impact on those who lived in his local area. His compassion for the people of Southend and his interest in things that mattered to them was clear. The boys noted that his example of service and leadership demonstrate that being in the public eye and having a vibrant social media presence is not necessary to touch the lives of others.

Can I wish you all a very happy, safe and healthy half-term.

Giles Delaney