From the Rectory
July 2006

A few weeks ago I was handed some sepia photographs of former pupils of the school next door. I was also given computer enhanced copies. One photograph showed over seventy children, all boys, in the same class. There were fewer girls, all wearing aprons and of course they would go on wearing aprons, at that time, that's what girls did. The photographs, although not dated looked, by the way they were dressed, to have been from around 1900. The moustached teachers (not the women), all looked rather severe.

What would these lads and their teachers make of us I wonder? No computers to enhance distant memories for these former pupils, and present classes only half the size. Some of their grandparents would have been around at Trafalgar and Waterloo. These photographs connect us very powerfully with times long gone. Did any of them sail on the Titanic? Could any of them still be alive? As we celebrate our 150th Anniversary and the connection with the school we will look back on all that has been - grateful for the memories and stories that they recorded and left for us. We will also look forward to what might be still to come.

The faces in these old photographs could never have imagined the changes that their world would see. Men on the moon, surely the stuff of Jules Verne. The micro-chip, unheard of, as would have been chipped potatoes then. Is it a better world today? Or is it just a different world? I can remember very vividly my early days at school and taking a jar of homemade jam for the bring and buy stall, it always got broken in the playground. I remember teachers who had come through the War years and were teaching us with passion and a belief that our world would indeed be a better world. Do you have similar memories? Keeping records such as these is vital if we are to pass on to the youngsters of today information about our past and what is important to us. Write it down, as much as you can remember and keep it safe.

If those early followers of Jesus, his friends and disciples had not mentioned the momentous events that surrounded him and them, we would have no record of his life or work, and our Christian faith would have no past and so no future. If you have memories of your early life here in Freemantle or as a pupil of the school how about writing an ariicle for the magazine? As long as you keep submitting them, we'll go on printing them. There will never be a Gospel according to Tom, Dick or Harry, but those memories will tell future generations about our faith and commitment to the Church, which just might help them to continue the work which as Christians we do in Christ's name day by day.

Yours for Christ's sake.