The Chaplaincy team at Saint Bede’s is involved in all areas of school life starting with the Year 6 children who will be joining our school community as new Year 7 pupils.
Chaplaincy provides a unique opportunity to promote the teachings of Christ in a relevant and meaningful way, encouraging the involvement and participation of staff and pupils in the liturgical life of the school and the feeder parishes.
Primarily, the Chaplains are responsible for promoting the Catholic ethos of the whole school community by organising and delivering a programme of daily prayer and liturgy for forms and year groups as well as preparing whole - school celebrations. We provide a variety of resources to support prayer and worship in form groups, and many opportunities for our young people to receive the Sacraments in school.
As the source and summit of our faith, the Mass is central to the prayer and liturgy routine at Saint Bede’s. All year groups and House groups celebrate a themed Mass together, based on a liturgical theme that is relevant to the Key Stage, and there are many opportunities to lead and/or attend one of the voluntary Masses held in the School Chapel through the year. We encourage our young people to come forward to lead liturgy especially as many may hold ministry in their home parish.
Running Monday to Friday there are 5 lunchtime extracurricular groups run out of the Chaplaincy department; from a weekly drop-in for informal counselling, Junior SVP and Mini-Vinnies, The Prayer Group, The Green Team and the RESPECT Ambassadors. With the core gospel value of love of God and love of others at the heart of them.
The informal drop in is a safe space for any young person to visit the Chaplain and share their cares and concerns. The Chaplain is there to listen and offer support, though they may signpost the young person to Senior Leadership and other specialists where appropriate.
The Junior SVP has been running since 2015, and they have developed into the leaders for Liturgy and Fundraising across the school. We have developed strong links with residential care homes for the elderly in the local community and ran a program of regular weekly visits between Stella Matutina Residential Care Home and the The Retired Sisters of the Cross and Passion. The visits were always welcome and as the team was self-funding they were happy to devise and run fundraising events to facilitate their visiting program. They have run many events in school and in the community such as Christmas Bake Sale and Refreshments Stall at the Annual School Carol Service. In school, as the team has grown in confidence, they have taken lead responsibility for inviting pupil participation in fundraising events, Masses and Liturgies and for encouraging pupils to put their faith into action.
They lead on the Harvest and Lenten CAFOD campaigning and collections in school and will soon be launching the Big Lent Walk, which will be run in collaboration with the PE department. There will be an Easter Bake Sale to mark the end of Lent which is always well-supported by staff and pupils and adds to the annual CAFOD donations significantly.
The Prayer Group are a growing group of young Christians, seeking to grow in faith and knowledge of God. They meet weekly and spend time reflecting on scripture and praying in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This is a safe space for our young people to express their faith in a creative and positive way.
The Bede’s Green Team is concerned about the impact of our consumption on the climate and the world that we live in. They reclaimed the raised beds and planted perennials, they have adopted trees in the grounds and are observing the seasonal changes and are currently investigating extending the recycling activities in school to remove plastic writing instruments from landfill.
The RESPECT Ambassadors are a fully certified peer support team. Trained through the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Program their remit is to support the most vulnerable young people in school. They are available to befriend, chat and counsel any young person who needs their help.
Fr. John Millar is the Priest Chaplain