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Birthday Service at Gloucester Cathedral

Seventy-Third Birthday Celebration - 22nd April 2016

The theme of this year’s seventy-third birthday celebration was decided upon when considering why our school crest was chosen and the meaning behind the symbolism of a tree.  It is good to know that a tree is a symbol of antiquity and immense enduring strength and also that this emblem was chosen in 1933 as the school badge.  Today, this badge is proudly worn on school blazer pockets and on the Sixth Form tie.  A wild hawthorn tree was chosen as the school badge, as the then headmistress, Miss Penson, had in mind the Norse legend of Yggdrasil, the life tree, with its roots in the past and its boughs reaching beyond the stars.  This tree, like the school, has withstood the test of time, during periods of prosperity in its history and also times of difficulty. 

A Russian fable read during the service talked about the importance of the leaves and roots and particularly the latter which enable the tree to flourish.   This was then related to each person with a reading entitled “Wisdom of the Ancients” and how the leaves, branches and roots related to people whom each of us have met.  The poem “Advice from a Tree” enabled us to reflect on the good things in life and how we should embrace them.  As always, the verses from the Bible were read which refer to our motto “Love genuinely, in honour, preferring one another”.

The address by Cannon Steven Bowen talked about the importance of trees in people’s lives especially for Tolkein and Tolstoy.

The service was well- received by the students, staff and parents of the school and resulted in the May Tree being the centre of attention as can be seen in the photograph.