Thursday 24th August 2023

Ka mua, ka muri - walking backwards into the future. An introduction from me and a look at how this whakatauiki has shaped my first half-term in this role and drives my vision for this role.

Kia ora, my name is Mike Brown and it is a real privilege to be acting as Chaplain for the remainder of this year. I am returning (with great pleasure) to McGlashan having previously taught Science, Chemistry and Outdoor Education here. After a number of years as a part-time at-home-dad and in a part-time church leadership role, it is wonderful to be back. Albeit, with some trepidation as attempting to fill the shoes of Rev Roly Scott, Rev Barry Kelk and Rev Andrew Nicol is no small task!

The example and history of these three men is of huge importance to me. It gives me something to look back on to guide my steps forward in this role. In keeping with Barry's fine tradition, I am attempting to use the open red Vestry door as a sign I am around and would love to chat. Being able to look back on the time I spent at McGlashan with each of these men has been essential as I have settled into this role.

This whakatauiki has always spoken strongly to me. Fascinatingly, it has an almost identical Hebrew analogue. My understanding is their words for "past" and "future" have origins that essentially mean past is “in front of” and the future is “behind”. The Hebrews faced the future backwards – whilst moving forwards in time their eyes were focused not on what was to be, but on what had already been. 

We discussed in Chapel last week some of what it means to be a part of a Special Character School Community. One of the most precious things I think about the McGlashan community is that we have a set of Christian values at the center of our community. My message to the boys last week was based on this whakatauiki. That it is my vision that their journey through McGlashan fills their past with values which will guide them well into the future. That part of my role is to help them explore and consider how they can apply these values. 

However, that it is their job to ensure they spend their time here deeply embedding these values into their life. To ensure they have filled their past with values and wisdom that will guide them well as they stride backwards into their futures.

Thanks for all those who have already said hi and welcomed me. As always please do feel free to get in touch about anything - 027 25 75 165,