I led Collective Worship in a couple of Primary Schools yesterday.
I used some of my very limited knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL) to teach a small selection of signs and get the entire hall to use them for a concluding prayer. So far, so normal.
One Headteacher ran with the idea as I was finishing and asked me further questions. I explained how little I knew, how I had helping lead worship with an interpreter for a congregation of deaf people in the past, and how the Friday Church at St James’ was learning the Lord’s Prayer in BSL clause by clause so that we could now do about half of it.
‘Reverend Mullins has told you how little he knows,’ the Headteacher said to the children, ‘but you’ve seen how much he does know - he meant to say “I’m good at this, and I’m working hard to be even better at it”.’
I thanked him afterwards (he knew the BSL sign for ‘thank you’ by then) for reinforcing the school’s ethos in the face of the constant danger of it being undermined by inadvertent external influences like mine and English self-deprecation.
The picture is part of the classic view down Haworth’s Main Street made even more classic by the sun on this year’s first dusting of snow. I’m told that the classic Hovis advert filmed on Golden Hill in Shaftesbury is based on a 1940s poster advert depicting a delivery boy toiling up Main Street, Haworth, but I haven’t yet been able to find a copy.