Inspire Awards 2013: meet a teacher who's inspired generations of students
Former Maths teacher and now lay chaplain, Geoff Lumley, has been an inspiration to generations of students at Twyford CE High School in West London. Sharon Barnard discovers why ...
Former Maths teacher and now lay chaplain, Geoff Lumley, has been an inspiration to generations of students at Twyford CE High School in West London. SHARON BARNARD discovers why
Mention ‘Geoff Lumley’ at Twyford and you might be treated to a 15-second football-style chant that accompanies his name, such is his popularity with the students.
“Geoff has been an inspiration to vast numbers of students, and thousands will have been influenced by his ministry through Twyford Fellowship Group (TFG),” says his colleague Andrew Palfreyman who has nominated Geoff for an Inspiring Individual Award.
“Many schools have Christian unions, but not ones that run most lunchtimes, nor ones that have two CU weekends away a year, nor ones which have had the same person in leadership for over 25 years, largely on a voluntary basis. This is what Geoff has set up and sustained at our school.
“Geoff has led assemblies, counselled students, and for many years produced a regular newssheet for the school called The Word – all this while teaching Maths. This commitment was recognized by Geoff’s being licensed by the bishop in 1998 as a Lay Chaplain.”
In 2003 he stood down as a teacher and, after a sabbatical, became an audio-visual technician at the school for four days a week. This gave him more time to develop the spiritual life of the school as a lay chaplain alongside a part-time chaplain.
Now Twyford has a full-time chaplain and Geoff continues to run the popular TFG as an informal expression of Christian faith in the school.
“This year in TFG, Geoff has worked alongside a female associate chaplain, herself an ex-teacher and ex-youth worker, and a few local youth workers who come into Twyford at lunchtimes,” Andrew explains. “One of the youth workers was in TFG when he was at our school!
“Geoff is very good at keeping in touch with ex-students and at one point they also had their own TFG meeting on one day of the week in the evening.”
Each week at Twyford there are TFG activities for different age groups. Some focus on worship or Bible study and there is occasional input from Christian speakers.
TFG also runs two weekends away every year - one for Key Stage 3 (juniors) and another for Key Stages 4 and 5 (seniors) where students are often involved in leading the worship and praying for each other in small groups.
“Geoff has been appreciated by generations of students at Twyford,” says Andrew. “In addition, with Twyford being a key church school in West London, TFG has been appreciated by local Christian families.”
It's not too late to nominate someone for an Inspire Award: go HERE. Closing date for entries is 16 September 2013.