Upon the return to school after summer, our first assembly is held in Westminster Abbey. This is an enormous privilege and in the two years I have spent at this Sixth form college and the many fantastic experiences I have accumulated, my first assembly stands out vividly.
When I first entered the Abbey, I was struck by the towering gothic architecture and the pews upon which the lamps seemed to float in a Hogwarts-esque manner. I came to the school by myself, so I greeted the Abbey almost as a new acquaintance.
Fast forward a few tumultuous months, and I’m back again. A seasoned HWSF student, I wore my battle scars with pride as I entered the Abbey with purpose and belonging. I had been elected onto the school Senate that April, and as part of our inauguration we had a ghost tour with the Dean of Westminster Abbey. He introduced us to the the monolith, both historically and architecturally. The intimate acquaintance I made with the Abbey that day was something of a scarcity in the modern age and one which I will carry forward with me.
I returned for my last year this September. Once again I entered the Abbey; this time as a friend and not a stranger. As I sat through the principal’s address, whose winding diction had become a sort of comfort, I reflected on the depth the Abbey had gained on a personal and literal level. I could look beyond the pews into the recess of British history and my own personal journey.