Les Miserables

From the Dean

A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.

Originally Published:
20th March 2007

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Last week and this coming week, we are hosting our Cathedral School's presentation of Les Miserables. The Upper Chapter House has been transformed into an amazing stage for this impressive presentation.

An enthusiastic audience, obviously stirred by the famous musical, warmly greeted last Thursday night's opening performance. The students' energetic presentation was very impressive. Their singing, acting and engagement with both the drama and the audience were marvellous. The orchestra played with great vigour. It was wonderful to see so many students participating in the large cast and production. The intensity and duration of this work demands a lot from all concerned, but they rose to the occasion. The whole production is a great credit to the students, staff and many supporters.

There are to be eight performances, with over 2000 people expected to attend. It will be a very tiring period for those involved. It is such a demanding show.

Our school has a long and cherished place in the history of our Cathedral. Founded originally as the choir school, it continues to provide first class education for choristers but has expanded well beyond that role. It is inextricably bound up with the life of the Cathedral. Our buildings serve as the Chapel and assembly hall for the school. Ross Cobb our music director, Jim Body our choir tutor, Josh Apieczonek, our FIX pastor, Rachel Davidson our ministry trainee, work in both the school and the Cathedral. There is an important overlap of membership -with students, alumni, parents and teachers of the school being members of the Cathedral congregations.

The two organizations are linked constitutionally. The Dean and one member of chapter are ex officio members of the School Council. Happily the Principal serves as a very valued member of the Cathedral Chapter.

The school enjoys a substantial and growing reputation and standing in the city. It is known as a provider of excellent education, with small and caring classes for infants and primary students as well as a quality learning environment and teaching leading up to the Higher School Certificate. Over recent years it has grown to its largest size, with well over 1000 students. The complexity of running a school of this size in the city centre is greeted with innovation and creativity by the staff, students and council. The advantages of having a city centre location are exploited to the full.

The school is unashamedly Christian. The Head, Phillip Heath, is a man who constantly points to the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Lord and Saviour. He seeks to run the school on the principles of Christ. The Chaplaincy team headed by Rev Tim Bowden, join the other Christians on the staff in commending Christ to the students. Many of the students come from Christian homes, which has a significant influence within the school community. During their time at St Andrews Cathedral School many come to profess faith in Christ.

It is important for the Cathedral congregations to uphold our school in prayer. The work that is being done for the Kingdom of God in the lives of these students can achieve nothing without the blessing of God. Please bring the Head, Chaplaincy team, teachers, parents and particularly the students before our Lord in your prayers. Let us rejoice and give thanks to God that we have such a mutually supporting ministry as part of the Cathedral.

The school would also like to thank the Cathedral congregations for their patience and generosity of spirit in the inevitable inconvenience and disruption to our normal programmes that comes from our sharing of these buildings.