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Message from the Head
July 5, 2024

Message from the Head

I was never much of a one for linear thinking; it’s the snake biting it’s tail; it’s the Phoenix reborn from the fire I like; it’s circular thinking and renewal I encourage, ‘we all come back again and again as long as the red earth rolls, He never squandered a single leaf why should he squander souls.’

This summer the third Headmaster of St James will, ‘Dr Who-like’, regenerate anew into the new Headmaster and a new cycle will begin. This new Headmaster will have his own vision and his own sonic screwdriver.

I have tried in my time to be more of ‘HeartMaster’ than a ‘Headmaster’; with a still mind feeling my way forward for the good of those I have served. As an only child and a lover of wisdom I have always craved community and know that to be one of the few, you must also be a greater part of the many.

St James has remained a boys school in my time and I have tried to guide it’s narrative from a Hero’s Journey to a ‘path with a heart’ that puts destiny before fate and knows that with, ‘great power comes great responsibility.’ The forces of eros meet no adequate ground in our society, and young men’s desires are frustrated, misunderstood and sometimes even demonised. This is not just sexual love – but all desire. This is the force William Blake calls Orc, or sometimes ‘energy’ or even ‘joy’. Male energy needs appropriate forms to fill and delight in. There is not much room in our modern world for ‘spirit’ outside of the sports field and it therefore gets repressed, or taken to forms of violence. ‘Office-life’ has no vigour or no spirit, and ‘spiritedness’ has no place to express itself. Blake captures this beautifully when he says that, ‘when minds are trapped in caves, then love shall find its roots in deepest hell.’

I wanted to be the antidote to people like Andrew Tait! Young men need a vision towards which to orient their desire and which to protect and uphold with their spirit, and that is not often given. They need to look upward and have a rich picture to aspire to. At St James we have tried to provide our young men with this vision through our Award nominated Personal Development programme, our bespoke Philosophy Curriculum, the outstanding CCF Corp, Climbing Club, our Activity Week Trips, the Formal Dinners to honour the masculine and feminine in their lives and the way we teach our academic subjects.

These initiatory events are important. Ours have been a truly unique approach and resulted in a remarkable ISI Inspection Report last November that spoke of ‘self reflective young men’ who had ‘spiritual development.’

At the heart of St James is a remarkable non-dual philosophy that leads to a deep understanding of what it really means to be human. The unity of life itself being expressed through the mind staggering diversity of life on this blue planet. The human being a microcosm that reflects the spiritual laws of this macrocosm and it’s fine vibrations harmonised through conscious attention. The soul moving from freedom-to- greater freedom. These are the consolations of philosophy.

My personal Tardis will land in Dorset this summer and the mantle of Headship will be cast aside, as each new Doctor tosses away the old clothes and costume of his predecessor.

I wish the new Headmaster, Mr Rick Clarke, the very best and hope he has many happy years here, as I have had.

St James is a special place and much needed in our broken world, it is a real school and a little glimpse of what is possible if hearts are open and minds are still.

Best are it’s fine young men who walk out into the world and make it a better place. You are the reason I did this job and I bless your good work.

Thank you it’s been a joy,

 

David Brazier

Headmaster 2013 – 2024