‘Friends in Faith’ are 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 recognises that religious literacy and the promotion of faith are not necessarily the same thing. To join the Friends in Faith group, pupils have to apply and explain why they want to be a member and what they will contribute to the prayer life and Catholic life of our school. The emphasis is on 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.
As part of their role, the Friends in Faith help promote the Catholic character of our school. They support pupils across the whole school from EYFS to Year 6 in developing and deepening their faith. They regularly lead 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 share Bible stories with pupils and engage 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.