Hello, welcome to St. Bede’s Chaplaincy page.
I’m Kirstie, and I’m School Chaplain. People often ask what it means to be a Chaplain. Hopefully as you scroll around this page and open up some of the links you’ll get a flavour of the role I have here at St. Bede’s as well as journeying through the wonderful Catholic life of our community.
Chaplaincy here at St. Bede’s is developed around 3 key priority areas:
Spiritual & Moral Development
Spiritual & Moral Development
St Bede’s is a Catholic school, which is founded to be a Christian community, committed to Gospel values. One of the central beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus is not just a historical figure who had some really good ideas about how to live, but that he rose from the dead and is present and alive within his people as the Christ, the Son of God.
Time and again, Jesus stresses the need for prayer as the basis of Christian life. Prayer is the means to a relationship with God, and this way we open ourselves to God’s power and strength through the Holy Spirit so that we carry out God’s will in our lives and in the world around us.
What does this mean for our school community?
Each morning our school day begins with a prayer, be it in morning registration or a year group collective worship. As our school day draws to a close a moment of prayer and reflection takes place in each lesson. As a staff our time together begins in prayer.
We are blessed with great support from our Deanery Priests and each Friday lunchtime Mass is celebrated in our Chapel.
A retreat is simply a time when we step back from our day-to-day lives, in order to recharge our spiritual and physical batteries and then re-emerge revitalised. Many people find that the best way to do this is to go away from their familiar everyday surroundings and go to a quiet place such as a Holy Island or the Diocesan Youth Village.
There have been many opportunities for our staff and students to experience a retreat. Over the years we have developed great links with Throssle-Hole Buddhist Monastery, Fr Bede at Ampleforth Monastery, Katherine Turner from our own Diocese, who has led a day of reflection for both staff and students, as well as continuing our links with the Diocesan Youth Ministry Team. As part of Yr7 Transition and welcome we take the whole year group up to the Emmaus Village for a residential retreat led by the Youth Ministry Team. Students in Yr12 experience a 2-day retreat: day 1 is led by the Youth Ministry team – again at the Emmaus Village - and day 2 is led by the RE Department here in school.
We have also developed opportunities for our young people to travel to Lourdes as part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage as well as including a visit to Rome on our long list of educational visits.
I love this quote: “Faith without action is all alone and dead.” Here at St. Bede’s it’s a very different picture! Some of the opportunities our students have been involved with during the Autumn term include:
Yr7 Welcome Retreat
The Source – Monthly Diocesan event hosted by YMT at St. Mary’s Cathedral
Youth Justice and Peace Remembrance Sunday Liturgy with a focus on the crisis in Alleppo
Catholic Partnership Events which involve all areas of the school curriculum. During the Season of Advent we hosted an Advent Liturgy at Our Blessed Lady Immaculate, Blackhill and plans are in place for a Partnership Liturgy during the season of Lent which will be hosted by another of our Partnership Schools.
Youth SVP - Students in Yr7 have been invited to get involved with Youth SVP (similar to Mini Vinnies which runs in the primary schools). Over 30 students attended an initial meeting and they will be formally commissioned as YSVP Members in the new year.
Operation Christmas Child / Shoe box Appeal.
Reverse Advent Calendar
The Spring term is looking just as busy and just as exciting.
There are many aspects to being a School Chaplain and all of them are a privilege. One of the roles I have here at St. Bede’s is to walk each day alongside our staff and our students; to walk with them and share with them the exciting news of the day, to listen and support when the news isn’t quite so good and to be a bridge that reconnects people when friendships take a tumble. My office is based within the Student Support Corridor and it’s lovely to open the door at break times and lunchtimes to hear the laughter and chatter of our students as well as the crazy game of musical chairs we play whenever I’m meeting with our young people to plan our next event or rehearse lines for a Liturgy. It’s also really important that our new students get to know me before they have even arrived through our door as a Year 7 student. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of our Year 5 pupils from our Partner Schools and I’m looking forward to meeting our Year 6 pupils over the next term.
Jesus gave us a wonderful code to live by when he said, “You must love your neighbour as yourself”, which means that we have a responsibility to our global and local family.
As a school we support and work alongside a range of charities.
Each year our students (and staff) become very competitive in thinking of the most original fundraising event as well as making the most money. The fundraising campaign got off to a great start during Advent and I’m sure as we begin to focus our thoughts on our Lent fundraising campaigns, I know the staff and students will be just as creative (and no doubt competitive!)
Alongside the whole school approach to Christian concern we will be re-launching both Youth SVP and Youth Justice and Peace Group. Both the Youth Justice and Peace Group and the Youth SVP are very much about faith in action and the idea is that each term both groups will have a new campaign in which to get involved.