At St Catherine’s we have had a pupil chaplaincy groups since we introduced our Catholicity Committee in 2011. While the name may have changed over the years, the purpose remains the same – the emphasis is on pupils passing on their faith to others, demonstrating the Gospel Values through their actions, taking a lead in worship and Common Good initiatives and supporting other pupils as they develop their relationship with Christ.
Why the change in name from Friends in Faith to Christ’s Crew?
Following Christ is cool! Leading others to follow Christ is something to be proud of and deserves a special name. At St Cath’s we have a Farm Squad, JLT, Team SATS… ‘Friends in Faith’ just isn’t ‘St Cath’s’ enough. So, from September 2021, we will be recruiting for our Christ’s Crew! Christ’s Crew will carry out the same role as the Friends in Faith, but bring their own, fresh energy to the position.
‘Friends in Faith’ were our pupil chaplaincy team, who took over from our Catholicity Committee. Why Friends in Faith? Our Catholicity Committee mirrored our Governing Body committee and were selected by staff, based on the quality of their Religious Education work. Friends in Faith recognised that religious literacy and the promotion of faith are not necessarily the same thing. To join the Friends in Faith group, pupils had to apply and explain why they wanted to be a member and what they would contribute to the prayer and Catholic life of our school.
As part of their role, the Friends in Faith helped promote the Catholic character of our school. They supported pupils across the whole school from EYFS to Year 6 in developing and deepening their faith. They regularly led small group prayer and religious activities, such as rosary making during the month of the rosary, at lunchtime in the chapel. In addition to this, the Friends in Faith also read and shared Bible stories with pupils and engaged the whole school community in reflective and prayerful activities to enhance their understanding of God and their own faith.
On a regular basis, the Friends in Faith lead whole school assemblies on liturgical themes. They support and lead collective worship in the classroom, modelling good examples of Child Led Acts of Worship to younger pupils. Further to this, during significant liturgical events in the year, such as Lent and Advent, the Chaplaincy team support pupils in developing their understanding of the importance of these by leading whole school acts of worship such as Advent liturgies and beginning our Lenten Journey.
At St Catherine of Siena School, we are fortunate enough to have our very own chapel which was blessed and opened by Bishop Paul McAleenan in 2019. The chapel itself is named the ‘Catherine Wildey Chapel’ after a member of staff who retired after 20 years of service to our school. The Friends in Faith take a key role in ensuring that the chapel is looked after and that it is a central, welcoming and valued part of our daily worship in school.