A PILGRIM School Manifesto

A PILGRIM School Manifesto

(drawn up by a group of teachers, principals and staff of Christian schools in the Netherlands in order to introduce the concept of PILGRIM Schools in Dutch schools)

  1. We look upon man as a pilgrim, on his way to a sustainable, just and peaceful world. As pilgrims, we are on our way, not knowing for sure whether we will reach our destination. We believe that this is a meaningful journey regardless of its outcome. On this journey, we will sometimes walk on at a stiff pace and at other times, seek rest and silence.
    As PILGRIM schools, we orient our pupils, students, parents, teachers and principals towards the notion of being on our way to that world. This orientation manifests itself in activities as well as moments of contemplation.
  2. As pilgrims, we dedicate ourselves to what is important in everyday life. Step by step we make ourselves less dependent on certainties and learn to be confident that many things in this life are gratuitous.
    As PILGRIM schools, we make room for reflection on what is important in life and practise openness for what comes our way.
  3. As pilgrims, we try to see the world in which we live in a different light. On our journey, we experience that we do not need much in order to live a good life and that we have enough to share with others. We strive for a way of life which causes as little harm as possible to ourselves, others and the earth.
    As PILGRIM schools we encourage our pupils and students to be critical towards consumption and unfair economic and social relationships. We also encourage them to develop an attitude of empathy and willingness to share.
  4. As pilgrims, we like to be surprised and inspired by encounters with people whom we meet on the way, even if they are alien to us at first sight. Now and again, we will walk together for some time.
    As PILGRIM schools, we enable our pupils and students to encounter people who inspire and challenge us on our way towards a sustainable, just and peaceful world and, wherever possible, forge partnerships.
  5. As pilgrims, we need inns in order to recover, to meet others and to be inspired and encouraged by the stories told by our fellow-pilgrims.
    As PILGRIM schools, we want to be such inns, where stories are being shared, where life in connection with others is being lived and celebrated, where hospitality and solidarity are being practised. In our choices related to the school building, materials, food and drink and special activities, we keep in mind the destination we are heading for.

November 2013

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