25 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG
SAM THOMSON: BLACKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL CHAPLAIN
Few could have imagined that when Sam Thomson put his hand up and commenced the job as a School Chaplain in 1990, he would have had the impact he has had in the Blackwood High School Community over a quarter of a century.
Marion Coady is the current Blackwood High School Principal and says that Sam is not only the longest serving Chaplain in a South Australian Government School, he is also the longest serving member at Blackwood High School! Principals, teachers, support staff and students have all come and gone but Sam still remains, serving new generations of the school community. Marion thanked Sam for his tireless support over the years on behalf of the school.
We asked Sam to share with us why he is committed and passionate about serving the Blackwood High School community.
SMG: Why did you become a Chaplain 25 years ago?
ST: “I was on a combined church committee, as a local youth leader, looking to appoint a chaplain to Blackwood High. I was enthusiastic about the role, believed strongly in the idea and started to get the sense that I’d like to do it, so I applied.”
SMG: How have you been able to be a Chaplain forso long?
ST: “The chaplaincy role and my youth pastor job at Blackwood Hills Baptist Church dovetail beautifully. I believe that my work serving the local community is God’s call on my life and there’s nothing I’d rather do.”
SMG: What impact have you seen in the community because of this role?
ST: “The role brings a sense of balance to the community. As an International Baccalaureate school it is a good to have someone whose role reaches in to the realm of spirituality. Over the years many young people have received guidance and encouragement, and staff and families have been supported as well.”
"I think a significant segment of our community
is comforted by the knowledge there is a
chaplain available to them and their family"
SMG: What value has the support of the local church community and SMG been?
ST: “The local church community have always been behind the role in a united and enthusiastic manner. I have definitely felt looked after! SMG have been amazing. I have received support from the right people at the right time over the years. I have been able to get on with the work of supporting others without being bogged down with administrative tasks. As we’ve become more and more digital, SMG staff have been so helpful and forgiving of me – I really appreciate it.
Sam’s story is an example of how school chaplaincy has had a significant positive impact on a whole community over 25 years. Relationships are built over time, with support available at those times in each person’s life when it is needed. Your continued prayer and financial support of School Chaplaincy is vital to provide the balance, comfort, guidance and encouragement just like Sam has provided in his community.