“We’re not human doings; we’re human beings”

In a busy world of exams, deadlines, standards to achieve, revision to do, and university offers to make, it can feel as though life is constant activity; that we have become human doings and not human beings. Fr Luke Jolly joined us last week as Contemplative in Residence, offering students opportunities for calm and quiet reflection during this busy term. “Everyone”, Fr Luke says “has a contemplative side”, but modern life doesn’t always make it easy for us to use it.

The programme for the week offered quiet walks on site, as well as an early morning walk to the Poet’s Stone with breakfast. There were also times to reflect on themes like “who am I?” and “what’s important in life?” Students were able to come and talk to Fr Luke, whether just bumping into him around the site, or more formally, by setting up a time to see him. On Wednesday, Fr Luke gave Jaw, in which his topic was Vocations – a word used often in a religious context, but much less often in our own. Your vocation is that which you are called to do; leading a life that best fits who you are. Fr Luke encouraged students to think about their life not in terms just of what they do, but of who they are – to seek in life something in which they can flourish by finding their niche; the way in which they can uniquely contribute to the world.

Watch a video of Fr Luke speaking about vocations.

By Clare Jarmy, Head of PRE 


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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