For the past few years I have been visiting All Souls St Gabriels School in Charters Towers. It is one of the events in my calender that I truly look forward to. The school is made up of All Souls school for boys established by the Brotherhood of St Barnabas in 1920 and St Gabriels school for girls established in 1921 by the Society of the Sacred Advent. Originally a Diocesan school ASSG is now an independent school which retains its Anglican identity and traditions.
The Chapel has been, and is, the heart of the school community. Yesterday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the Chapel. The place was full, bringing community members, past and present students, Diocesan Bishops and Clergy, friends and supporters all together to mark 50 years of service to the school community. In his address Archbishop Aspinall recounted how the school has maintained it’s focus of to serve is to rule throughout it’s history. Indeed, he added, that the school it self was living testimony to its motto; having served in various capacaties, including as a makeshift hospital during the war.
One has to experience ‘Souls’ life to appreciate the reality of its place as both school and community. What particularly strikes me is the sense of welcome and inclusion one feels on entering this community of men and women. Their willingness to participate and have a go is their strength. We have been made most welcome by all here at the school. We have found both staff and students willing to befriend and share with us in meals, in play, in work, and especially in prayer.