IN his new fortnightly column, the Rev JOHN GUEST, the rector of St Margaret’s, Stanford-le- Hope, takes a look at local issues and muses on the lessons we might learn.

I SEE Rylan is Grayson Perry’s choice for one of his subjects at the “Who Are You” exhibition in the autumn. Local councillor, James Halden, expresses wry surprise that “not more of my constituents are in the National Portrait Gallery”.

When Rylan was growing up in my parish and struggling through school, neither his mum, his teachers, nor even his friends, imagined how famous he’d become. It was tough being ginger and gay, he says, and he was often bullied. But now look at him.

The child you were does not imagine the adult you will become and our local schoolchildren going into the long summer break have no idea what the future holds. I often smile to myself as I ask them in assembly what they hope to be.

A few weeks ago, they asked me to chair a council group that oversees the development of our children’s religious education, the values and beliefs that each of them holds.

Thurrock Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (Sacre) meets to advise on matters relating to religious education and collective worship.

What we believe and who we worship is really important, even when we are children, and can make a great difference to the adults we become. I’m not sure if Rylan is religious, but I do know you don’t achieve what he has without determination and hard work.

The child you were now knows the adult you’ve become and hopefully can appreciate what it was to be guided through school and assembly. We won’t all be famous but we can all make a difference.

Let’s do all we can to ensure today’s kids become tomorrow’s stars!