From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

St John Unfolds the Great Mystery of the Incarnation

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

It will be with a deep sigh of relief that we bid farewell to the 2021 academic year next week. It has been another highly unpredictable twelve months, but, ever the optimist, I am really looking forward to a return to the more normal rhythms of Trinity Grammar School life in 2022.

For the second year in a row, we have had to cancel what, for me, is the highlight of the year; the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. This service has come to mark, for me, the beginning of Christmas with a beautiful candlelit service of readings and music in the War Memorial Chapel. It is the event I most look forward to in the Trinity calendar; a time to reflect as the year winds down, to marvel again at the exquisite hymns, at once familiar and nostalgic, and to be reminded of the extraordinary beauty and power of the Christmas story as it unfolds through the nine lessons. It is a ceremony steeped in tradition, with the first service of Nine lessons and Carols being performed in 1880 in Truro Cathedral, and which has become synonymous with King’s College, Cambridge, who held their first service in 1918.

The inaugural Trinity Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was introduced in 1938 on the eve of the Second World War, during the first year of the Headmastership of V.S. Murphy. Because of that tradition, we have put together a virtual service in the hope that you watch it as a family. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I, no doubt, will. In my house, it is likely to form one half of a double bill with our other Christmas tradition, Love Actually.

Notwithstanding the challenges and disappointments of 2021, it is also important for us to count our blessings. It will be good to be able to farewell the Class of 2021 tomorrow and next Wednesday evening with their Valedictory events; it was good that with a combination of outstanding management and good fortune, we were able to run an uninterrupted IBD and HSC Examination programme; and it was fortunate that we did not have to go back into remote learning, and, unlike many other parts of the world, we ought be profoundly grateful that we have largely been spared the ravages of the global pandemic, so there is much to be thankful for.

Next Wednesday, the 8th of December, we will be holding the Prizegiving Assemblies for Year 7 to Year 11. All five events will be livestreamed, and you may follow the links to access your son’s ceremony.

Finally, may I extend my best wishes for a blessed, holy and peaceful Christmas, and refreshing holiday break.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


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