At St Lawrence we see Compassion not just as an emotion; “compassion is a verb”. We see it as something we do and act upon as well as feeling it. Being compassionate for us means being Jesus’ hands and feet and therefore within our school community – on the playground as well as in the school building. We also look towards others beyond our school gates.
What makes Compassion a distinctively Christian value? We know that, according to the Bible, God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15). God is compassionate and sympathetic. However, God’s compassion is more than mere sympathy and pity. God's compassion is related to His mercy, kindness, patience, grace, forgiveness, and love. All of these attributes you would see at St Lawrence.
We see Compassion shown in the Christian narrative in many ways. God's compassion is evident throughout the Bible – Jonah, the Israelites in the desert, the call to look after the orphan and the widow. In the Old Testament we see time and time again, God’s compassion towards His people. The compassion of Jesus is clearly seen throughout the Gospels – he experienced human life and is able to sympathise with us fully. He modelled things like compassion to us – for the sick, for the poor, for the hungry, for the vulnerable. The pinnacle of Jesus’ compassion is seen at the cross of Calvary where He laid down his life for the sin of the world.
At St Lawrence we develop our value of Compassion through modelling it to one another; being Jesus’ hands and feet; understanding it is a call to action. We show compassion locally through supporting Alton Foodbank and visiting residential homes as part of our intergenerational work. Nationally and internationally we have supported charities such as Children in Need, Sport Relief and then beyond our shores we have supported a Toilet Twinning Initiative in countries such as Ghana and bought animals for families in Africa through Christian Aid.
“Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)