On Wednesday 18 September our Year 8 students held their Fundraising Gala. There were stalls and sales of every kind, demonstrating the imagination and initiative of this group of students. Available were an array of food choices: pulled pork sliders, churros with choc-chip ice-cream, cupcakes galore, pizza slices, sausage sizzle and a full Chinese lunch, including rice and spring rolls. There were also many ways to try your luck to win a prize: spin a wheel, test your handball skills, bounce a ping-pong ball into a cup, or buy a seedling for the garden.
On display but not seen that day was its most important element – Westminster community spirit. It was wonderful to see students of all year groups working together, offering excited interest and encouragement, exchanging ideas and friendship.
You see this often in the School’s life; the previous week’s sumptuous lunch provided by our combined International students, at Music Night where Old Scholars returned to offer fruits of their Westminster learning, at the wonderful recent 'The Blue Book' dance production, in shared service opportunities selling badges for Legacy or donating for FoodBank, or in classroom support of fellow students for learning.
Where does such community spirit come from? It's there in our history and traditions, extending now over 58 years. It's there in what we hold important as our school ethos and values. It's there in the dedicated contribution of staff who have committed to create and maintain such an environment, both now and then. It's part of who we are as a faith-based school, which says that we live not just for ourselves, but together, and for each other.
I wished you could bottle what I saw behind the activity and have it on sale with all the other treats at our Year 8 Gala Fundraiser - it would make a monty! But you can’t. All you can do is recognise Westminster’s community spirit, value it and safeguard it by being a part of it.
Rev Phil Hoffmann