Compass for Life
Seven More Stories
Ampleforth College and St Martin’s Ampleforth are Catholic, Benedictine schools for the twenty first century. But what does that mean? What is distinctive and different about a Benedictine education grounded in the Rule of St Benedict written some fifteen hundred years ago? We have explored answers to this question through two editions of Seven Stories. Old Amplefordians have looked back on their time in the valley and discussed how their time here has shaped their lives and their way of living, giving them, they say, a compass for life.
At this time when St Martin’s Ampleforth is coming under the direct governance of the St Laurence Educational Trust, it seemed to be a good time to ask some of the students who are leaving the college this year to reflect on their earliest experience of a Benedictine education at Gilling.
These boys and girls are preparing for their A Level exams, they are looking forward to Gap years and university life. It would not have been surprising if they had been reluctant to undertake this task which meant looking backwards not forwards. However, when they were gathered to discuss the project, there was an immediate, enthusiastic, engagement with the idea. They wanted to recount their experiences and, as you will see, their love of their old prep school and their sense of gratitude for their experiences there shine through these accounts.
The friendships they made, the balance they achieved, the intellectual journeys they began, the respect they enjoyed are all part of our distinctively Benedictine vision of a school in the Lord’s service where the strong have something to strive for, and the weak have nothing to run from.
A compass for life
We have told these stories to illustrate the many different ways in which the Gilling experience can stay with people throughout their lives. Varied as they are, the one thing that unites all seven is the sense that Gilling offers something comforting and constant, a compass for life.We believe this is unique. It goes beyond educational excellence, and no other school can offer it.
If you have heard an echo of your own experience here, or simply been touched by a snapshot of someone else's life, you'll understand why we want to tell the world about this remarkable place. Please help us by passing on these stories wherever you go.
Our thanks go to Lucy Bird, Maire Crosse, Toshi Ogita, Celia Powell, Josh Reid, Tom Satterthwaite and David Topham for generously sharing their experiences with us.