Chaplaincy @ THA
What does chaplaincy look like at Hereford Academy?
At THA, chaplaincy takes many forms. Our chaplains run two drop in sessions during the week. On a Tuesday, they run a Christian Union, where they join with students to study the Bible and its relevance to our lives today. On Friday, they host ‘Chill n Chat’, an informal drop in group where anyone is welcome. We often do some kind of easy art or craft activity in this session, and word searches and colouring sheets are always available.
THA chaplains are on the school assembly rota and have also been involved in RE provision. In the past they have run Experience Easter, as well as a mock baptism and wedding. Most recently, they worked with the LGBTQ+ group to create a rainbow service – a service celebrating the diversity of our students. THA chaplaincy Is firmly committed to inclusion. All students regardless of race, gender, religion, ability or sexuality are seen as being made in the image of God and precious in his sight.
Chaplains encourage students to be part of the wider community. Both Christian Union and LGBTQ+ groups were involved in decorating a tree for a fundraising Christmas Tree festival in December. The school choir lead an annual carol concert at St Martin’s church, and senior students represent the school at the parish remembrance service.
Chaplains are available to listen, talk with and pray for students, but also for teachers and support staff. This has been particularly important during times of change and uncertainty at school, but also during times of personal difficulty for individual students and staff members. Chaplains are equally happy to provide prayer, support and listening for parents. Please get in touch with the school if you would like to take advantage of this service.
Most importantly, the role of the chaplain is a prayerful one. As chaplains, we pray regularly for the school, its staff, governors, and students, as well as the wider community. We also pray by name for those students we know and interact with regularly. Part of this prayerful role includes facilitating prayer within the school. As part of this facilitation, Rev. Anne Dowdeswell wrote the school prayer, and the chaplaincy team collaborated on the creation of a house prayer book for use in assemblies and times of collective worship. Christian Union also have times of prayer, and are encouraged to keep a prayer journal where they record both asked and answered prayers. The wider school can attach their prayer requests to the prayer tree and window display in the corridor outside of the chapel; these requests are taken down and prayed for in church each week.
What is chaplaincy?
Chaplains are people who are commissioned by the church to go outside of its walls and spend time with others in their daily occupations, sharing God’s love in practical ways, through care, support, listening and prayer. The first recorded chaplain was St. Martin of Tours. He was a Roman soldier who took pity on a destitute man, tearing his cloak into two and giving half to the beggar to help him warm himself against the cold. When he was eventually ordained, Martin continued this work of sharing God’s love outside of the church building. His generosity with his cape, however, was never forgotten. The Latin word for cape was cappella – hence the word chaplain.
A Final Word
THA chaplains are committed to the flourishing of all THA staff and students. In our worship we regularly pray for the coming of God’s kingdom. We believe that the Kingdom of God is present any place where love, peace and justice reign; we long to see THA as a place where that kingdom is realised. Please support us by joining with us in prayer for the school, students, staff and wider community. You can also help by recommending the chaplaincy service to any youngsters who are having issues at home or school (bereavement, family break-up, bullying, whatever). We are all DBS checked and subject to both Diocesan and school safeguarding procedures. We will offer non-judgemental listening and support as well as working within the school structures to find practical solutions. Chaplaincy at THA offers a place of welcome and care for everyone.
The Hereford Academy Prayer
Loving God, bless the Hereford Academy.
Help us to respect and trust one another;
to care for one another in your name.
Guide us as we aspire to be all that you created us to be.
When we face challenges,
give us resilience and the promise of your hope.
In the name of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
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