For the last four weeks, the Hill has been filled with the sound of 80s music as the houses rehearsed for this year's House Singing competition. The theme this year was 80s film music and each house picked their favourite song from the era in preparation for the competition on Saturday 12 October.
I was born in Zambia, and came to live in England for a few years after that. My most formative period, however, was spent in Papua New Guinea. I arrived there aged 7, with my parents, who were idealistic teachers, and my sister, two years younger than me. My father went on to be national football manager, and founded a sports institute, but unfortunately my parents' marriage foundered and I came back to England for senior school aged 12. Life was then a very long commute between father and mother on opposite sides of the world during term and holiday time, until I left Millfield senior school to read Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London.
I discovered Jesus as a 7 year old boy through reading the Bible and through C. S. Lewis' Narnia stories, and my Christian faith is the most important thing to me, and the primary reason why I came to Kingham Hill. Not long after Imperial I was selected for ministry in the Church of England, and then spent a year working for a church in a very deprived area of Blackburn. This was followed by a year of travelling the world, working in such unlikely places as a Kibbutz in Israel, Jackarooing in Australia, and Beach Modelling in Fiji. I trained as a vicar at Durham University, finding time in my four years there to complete an MA thesis on C. S. Lewis, who has remained my pilgrimage's best companion as a Christian.
I was ordained in Canterbury Cathedral in 1998, and served a curacy in a parish in Kent. I met a lovely organist there called Hannah, who has been my wife since 2002, and we have been blessed with two children - Samantha (b.2006) and Benjamin (b.2008). Before coming to the Hill, I moved on to a wonderful six years as Chaplain, Head of Theology, and Housemaster as Magdalen College School in Oxford.
As to interests and hobbies, I'm afraid Headmasters don't get much time for those(!), but when I can, I play football, enjoy bridge, go fishing, and read as much as I can.
I came to Kingham Hill because I believe very much in its Christian foundation, and in the practical way that shows itself in helping children with a boarding need to have opportunities in life. My overriding goal is to uphold and maintain the vision of the Founder, and I think the next few years could be very exciting ones in the history of the school. I have very much enjoyed meeting the old boys and girls so far, and I think that relationship is a tremendously important one, which I am keen to develop and see flourish.
Reverend Nick Seward and daughter.
Committee members present:
Nick Seward (Headmaster, invited), Kenny Winfield (Events), Leo Smith, Brian Dean, Mike Kent (Treasurer), Eddie White, John Hughes, Mike Tadman, Iain Helstrip (Secretary), Simon Briggs (Memorabilia), Simon Howlett (KHSD, Chair stand in).
The forecast for the day was 'cloudy but dry', and when John, Eileen and I arrived at KHS about 9.50, it certainly was that. John and I went up to our archive room where we met James and Margaret Woolliams, Alex and Katrina Mathers, Simon Briggs and John Hughes. Tony and Julie soon joined us.