This week we have been focussing on our value Community.
Together we sung the hymn 'When I needed a neighbour'. This hymn challenges us to care for our neighbour (those in our community) regardless of their creed (belief or religion) and regardless of their colour.
As we celebrate Black History this month, we also shared the story of a black woman who, demonstrating her passion for diversity and equality, became a truly positive role model not only for the community where she lived and worked, but also worldwide.
We discussed the definition of a community - a group of people who live in the same area, or people who have the same belief or the same interests. Our Alveston C of E School community has a shared purpose - striving to ensure Together we all SHINE, we focus on the teaching and learning of children.
As a community we have a shared responsibility to look after one another and to teach and to learn from each other. We also understand we belong to the community of Tiddington and to Stratford as well as being part of a much wider community nationally and globally.
The words of the hymn 'When I needed a neighbour' remind us of Jesus' words in Matthew 25, about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick. It also reminds us of John 1 4:11
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
We should be there for one another, regardless of our creed or colour. This was the view of a black woman, Rachel Elizabeth Campbell, known as Betty Campbell. She played a significant role not only in her own local community, but also worldwide.
Born in 1934 in Cardiff's docklands to a Jamaican father and a Welsh Barbadian mother, Betty was told she would never realise her dream of becoming a teacher and a Head Teacher. Her teacher at the time told her she would face 'insurmountable challenges as a black woman.' This spurred Betty on! She not only became a Head Teacher of a primary school on Cardiff, she also sat on the UK government's race relations board and introduced Black History Month to the school curriculum.
Nelson Mandela heard about Betty and her work and was keen to meet her. On his only visit to Wales, he sought Betty out!
Betty was awarded an MBE for her services to education and to community life. This month a statue of Betty was unveiled in Central Square, Cardiff. This was the first statue in Wales of any named woman.
Betty put her community before all else and dedicated her life to the education of children. She was a good neighbour.
This week, we are thinking about our community, the role we play within it and asking ourselves, are we a good neighbour?