No greater words could be delivered to our young people today than those from St Edmund Campion from his brag, reminding us all some four hundred plus years later, that God works in us and for us. Chaplaincy at The Campion School aims to encourage and support the school community in their journey of faith, a journey we recognise is unique and challenging for each person.
"The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: so it must be restored."
Faced with the threat of the most horrific methods of torture and death, St Edmund Campion never wavered in his faith, more so, it served to drive him forward to serve the people of God all the more. Luckily we’ll never have to endure anything like the hardships our patron was faced with, but we do understand that each person has their battles with faith and challenges associated with being a teenager. The role of myself as Lay Chaplain is to provide both the staff and students with an arm of friendship and support that is compassionate in the way that Jesus offered his love to every single person. It is to encompass a feeling of Christian fellowship and ensure the values of Christ are a part of our whole school life by: providing a full and varied liturgical program that includes Mass every week, organising the school’s retreat programme, providing opportunities for social justice action and fundraising events, upholding links with parishes and the diocese and doing all I can in the form of resources and support to maintain a Christian ethos.
Mass and Other Liturgical Celebrations
We are extremely lucky to have a supportive network of local priests as well as a fair amount of old boys who've gone on to be ordained, who help us celebrate Mass very regularly. We have Mass at least once a week, and often up to three times a week for various form or year groups. For the start and end of the school year, our feast day and on Ash Wednesday we celebrate Mass together as a whole school community. There is also ample opportunities for personal prayer or collective worship in our school Chapel, including Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament, morning prayer and the rosary throughout the year.
Retreats are a fantastic opportunity for our students and for staff to evaluate their faith journey and develop an understanding of the importance of Jesus in their lives. Our programme of retreats ensures that our pupils are given the opportunity to go on a retreat at least once a year. In year seven pupils are taken to Aylesford Priory for a day, and in year eight they spend the day at our diocesan retreat house, Walsingham House. In year nine we begin offering the chance to go on residential retreats which are incredibly popular and stay with our young people for the rest of their lives. By year ten the residential retreats change to St Cassians, Kintbury which provides an excellent opportunity for young people to integrate with other schools, develop their personal faith, build friendships and have a lot of fun.
Justice & Peace Group and Charity Work
As Jesus encouraged an outward expression of faith:
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in," (Matthew 25:35)
It is only fitting that as followers of Christ we have a huge commitment to helping others. We The School’s Justice and Peace group is open to everyone. Their role is to bring about awareness of the injustice that affects them and look for opportunities to make a difference in both our local and worldwide community. Over the past year they have helped raise over £1000 for CAFOD, provided over 200 shoeboxes full of gifts for the Christmas shoebox appeal and organised an incredible amount of food to be donated to our local Food Banks (enough to feed hundreds of families).
The whole school also participates in events such as Family and Lent Fast Days. Each year group makes a special effort to fundraise for a charity of their choice throughout the academic year, and then there's the ever successful Christmas Party when we play host to three hundred local pensioners during Advent.