May our school be full of welcoming
Let our rooms be full of happiness
Let learning fill our day
Teach us to respect ourselves
Give us the strength to do our best
Give us the skill to use our talents wisely
Lord, make this school your home
We hope that the work of the Chaplaincy will help to develop the Christian ethos which is such a big part of the school. We encourage our pupils and staff to demonstrate their commitment to their faith in their daily lives: to offer support and friendship to those in need; to be respectful of each other’s feelings; to take an active part in meaningful collective worship.
The Chaplaincy exists not to prove the school’s commitment to the Catholic faith, but to enable the pupils and staff to demonstrate their commitment in their daily lives and to support them in their faith.
Mrs Linda Walmsley is our Lay Chaplain. Linda coordinates collective worship across the school, as well as providing a wide range of events and opportunities for the spiritual development of our pupils, from masses and services to celebrate special days in the liturgical year, to the Friday Club, and the Faith in Action Award scheme. Linda also supports the staff in their expressions of faith, leading a weekly reflection and co-ordinating Friday staff prayer, ‘Breakfast with God’, in the Chapel.
We are very fortunate to have the support of the priests of the Chorley Pastoral Area, several of whom come into school to celebrate mass for us. We are particularly fortunate to be able to use St Gregory’s Church as a place of worship for our Christmas and Easter celebrations and on Holy Days of Obligation, we enjoy celebrating mass in the Church with the primary school pupils and the parishioners.
The Chapel is available to classes every day, for prayer, meditation, or simply as a place of peace and calm in the midst of a busy school. It is also the venue for some of our lunchtime groups, providing a place where we come together to strengthen friendships, to play games, to offer support and to enjoy each other’s company.
Each tutor group is encouraged to prepare a prayer service in the Chapel at some point during the year. These are pupil-planned and pupil-led services in which our children are encouraged to reflect on what is important to them and how their own personal faith impacts on their daily lives.
We recognise that with changing lifestyles we have to change the way we provide retreat opportunities for staff and pupils and with this in mind, we have moved away from the residential retreat model and instead we offer opportunities to develop faith and to reflect on our own lives within the SMSC programme. Our Year 7 pupils all participate in a morning retreat encouraging them to think about their image of God and their relationship with him. We also welcome pupils from our primary partners to participate in a day long retreat as part of their transition process.
The Chaplain offers an open door and a listening ear for anyone in the school who needs support. We all experience times of anxiety, loneliness, stress or sadness, but these things must shape our lives, not dominate them. The Chaplain is a friend in times of need.
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