Thought for the Day – Supporting our Schools and other workers by Rev Gayle Taylor

With the announcement yesterday that the schools will close tomorrow (Friday), many people have been worried about what this will mean for child care for workers, exams, home school possibilities and more concerningly, safety and food for some vulnerable children. Yesterday we spoke of how you can help the foodbank support the referrals from the schools and Children and Families department. If you are planning on coming to Newtongrange hall with some tins or packet food tomorrow between 11am and 12noon, can I also encourage you spare a thought or offer a prayer for all the staff and pupils in our schools. As School Chaplain for Newtongrange and Lawfield, I visited the schools today and could tell as I entered the building that they were hoping I hadn’t come to ask them to do something or answer a question. I said “I know how busy you are, I just wanted you to know that we’re thinking of you and appreciate all you’re doing”. It’s a small thing but it’s transformational, it changes the atmosphere from stressful to supportive, furrowed brows to smiles. It’s the same in our shops, you can visibly see staff members body language change when you ask them how they are instead of why there’s no toilet roll! In the Bible in the New Testament in James chapter 3 v 10 it says “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing”. In these days of challenge, it’s your choice, what will you offer, a blessing or a curse?