Prayer, Worship and the C Team
Prayer and Worship
The Chaplaincy at The Saint John Henry Newman Catholic School is at the centre of the school community and offers support and nurturing to pupils, students and staff in their mission to become the person God created them to be.
Chaplaincy focuses on two key areas of school life:
Liturgy, prayer and worship
Putting faith into action
Our staff Chaplaincy Team, ordained Chaplain and pupil led ‘C-Teams’ work together to build Christ’s kingdom in our very own school community.
Our students have an integral role to play in the preparation, participation and evaluation of Masses, liturgical worship, services of reconciliation, retreats and acts of prayer and reflection. Through music, readings, liturgical dance and reflection, pupils and students are at the centre of every worship opportunity and we hope to continue the tradition of commissioning more Eucharistic ministers from our student body this year.
Our pupil led C-Teams are proud, proactive and committed to making small acts with great love to change the world, and with over 100 pupils and students being commissioned at our school Feast Day Masses, ideas are shared and developed weekly to live out the example of Christ in both our school, local and overseas communities.
In the midst of the busy school day you will find two areas of sanctuary for all pupils, students and staff. Firstly our Chapel, open every day for all to visit. Frequently booked by individual classes and tutors, years 7 and 8 have a chapel lesson every year and opportunities for reconciliation are offered during Advent and Lent. Our priest chaplain, Fr Philip Law, invites the whole community to Holy Hour, over Friday lunchtime and staff prayer on a Thursday morning is a welcome time of peace and reflection in the middle of the busy week. The second is our Peace Garden which is in the heart of our school. Opened and blessed by Bishop Paul McAleenan, it offers a place of rest, stillness and sanctuary at the heart of our vibrant community.
Moments of stillness can also be found elsewhere in the school. Daily prayer is shared every morning in tutor groups and year group Masses are scheduled in throughout the year. We are fortunate to be supported by our Deanery priests, one each being assigned to every year group, who frequently visit, celebrate Mass with their assigned year and support the Pastoral teams across the school.
Please see here for the Prayer Resources this week.
Over 100 pupils and students were commissioned in our Feast Day Masses by Bishop Paul McAleenan, Fr Norbert Fernandes, Dean of Stevenage and Fr Jimmy Garvey.
Year 7 Friendship Days
Year 7 start the academic year by spending a day out of school to build relationships and reflect on the start of a new school journey. A day at Wymondley Woods Activity Centre, led by our Year 12 student leaders, provides an opportunity to learn about the school, their form saint and one another, all centred around the theme of ‘friendship’.
This year’s season of remembrance was marked with the sale of poppies and a poignant remembrance service centred around the theme of peace. Readings, prayers and our reflective musical accompaniment drew members of our school, parish and local community together in prayer and remembrance.
Our Wider Community
Throughout the year, we work hard to maintain our close, strong relationships with pupils from our feeder primary schools. They are invited to many of our school events, attending the matinee performance of our school productions and our community Mass. Last year’s Community Mass focused on the theme of Superheroes and our feeder primary schools were invited to create their own superhero capes as their offering during Mass.
We continue to grow our links with our Christian friends in Stevenage Old Town as we make our annual visit to the Christian churches of Stevenage, Old Town. Year 8 pupils visit the High Street Methodist Church, Bunyan Baptist Church, Holy Trinity (CofE) Church and the Church of the Transfiguration Catholic church, as part of their RE unit of study on the Church in Britain.
Links with our parishes go from strength to strength and this was especially evident on Education Sunday, where members of the school community proudly wore their uniforms to Mass.