The teacher: A good shepherd?

This article considers the distinctive nature of pastoral care in Christian schools and the way in which the model of the Good Shepherd informs practice. David Fincham is a lecturer on the MA in Catholic School Leadership at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The Yorkshire shepherd
I was out walking with my brother-in-law one Easter near his home in the Yorkshire Dales. Desultory showers had fallen during the morning, but they had passed and the green rural landscape was now bathed in a pale liquid sunlight.

Around us we were sheltered by woodland ash, sycamore and birch and, on either side of the path, lay fields of lush grass enclosed by distinctive dry-stone walls, which had been carefully constructed over many centuries. The fields seemed as still and verdant as the pastures described in the Bible, so we were minded not only to take a lunch break but also to admire the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. As we sat down to eat our sandwiches, we watched the sheep and new-born lambs, grazing, browsing and gambolling in the pastureland. It was a quintessential scene of pastoral tranquillity.

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