Welcome to Chaplaincy
Welcome to Chaplaincy at St Augustine’s
School Lay Chaplain: Anita Cobb
Please read below to find out about all the various activities that happen at St Augustine’s which enrich our interactions and relationships with God and with each other. You will find lots of information about what we do, so please take a look!
We have a vibrant team of GIFT Chaplains. All pupils are invited at certain times in the year to apply in writing to become a GIFT Chaplain. They undergo an interview process with local clergy and school staff. Once selected, Pupil Chaplains are commissioned at a special Mass. Our Pupil Chaplains make a great contribution to the faith life of our school, as well as working in the parishes and wider community.
Encompassing all members of the RE Department, as well as representatives from most departments across the school, the staff chaplaincy team works together to support the mission and ethos of St. Augustine’s, as well as helping to spread the joy of the Gospel to pupils and staff alike. Staff pray together every morning during our whole staff and pastoral briefings and also regularly raise money together for charity. Fundraising happens in a variety of ways, including Staff Christmas Card Donations, collections for Blackburn Foodbank, a staff tuck shop and the popular ‘Friday Treats’ which raises around £100 each week for a nominated staff charity. You can read more about some of these activities below.
We act justly & love tenderly
Faith and Justice Team
Led by Mr Lowe, our pro-active Faith and Justice Team work hard to support our charitable work, often in a very practical way, such as packing shoeboxes, backpacks and running periodic Fairtrade cafes.
We are proud to have two Fairtrade tuck shops at St Augustine’s – in the staff room and in the RE area - which promote Fairtrade products and provides a fundraising opportunity to support our other various CAFOD projects throughout school.
As part of the Salford Diocesan family, we support the charity work of Caritas throughout the diocese and particularly within the Ribble Valley area. Our fundraising efforts include the decorating of a Teenage Mother and Baby unit in Blackburn and providing coats and shoes for the Cornerstone centre. During Advent we were delighted to support Bury Red Door and THOMAS, based in Blackburn, with donations of ‘Hope Packages’ put together by forms and individuals to provide hope and support to those homeless people who accessed the services of Bury Red Door.
Aid to the Church in Need: Red Wednesday
With our RE classes, we learned about the impact that persecution has on many Christians across the world who are unable to freely go to Church and worship God. Once we had learned about the impact that persecution has, we took up the Aid to the Church in Need challenge of going to pray on behalf of those who cannot.
Staff Chaplaincy: Friday Treats
Started by our former Chaplaincy Assistant, Mrs Carter, as a response to the Haiti appeal, Friday Treats supports a staff nominated charity each week, offering staff a chance to come together at break time to share donated baked goodies, to support one another in fellowship, and raise money for charities close to the hearts of our staff family.
To date we have raised over £25,000.
St Augustine’s Challenge: Advent and Lent
During Advent and Lent we love to challenge our community to make a real difference in the world building to a large scale announcement of our total efforts during our Christmas and Holy Week masses. In recent years we have: immunised over 1400 children and fed more than 1200 people in the developing world through CAFOD World Gifts, supported 40 children to eat every day at school for a year through Mary’s Meals and collected hundreds of 5 pence pieces to support the CAFOD ‘Big Fish’ campaign.
ADVENT: Over 100 Hope Packages divided between ‘Bury Red Door’ and ‘THOMAS, Blackburn’
LENT: Over 40 children fed for a whole year through Mary’s Meals
CAFOD: CLIMATE CHANGE CAMPAIGN
We have a long-standing, enduring commitment to CAFOD and have supported their many campaigns throughout the year. Often, the culmination of our fundraising takes place during Advent through the sale of World Gifts. We have also taken part in many CAFOD campaigns, having held a ‘Climate Change Hustings’ event in school with all the local leaders of the Political Parties - Nigel Evans MP (Conservative), David Hinder (Labour), Jackie Pearcey (Liberal Democrat) and Graham Sowter (Green Party) – came into school to work with our pupils on the problems surrounding climate change and what their parties would do to enable us to be better stewards of creation.
As part of the same campaign, almost 30 pupils and staff went down to London to take part in the Climate Change march – we had a fantastic day! We met with Nigel Evans inside the Houses of Parliament and asked him some more challenging questions about the plans which Parliament has to combat climate change and the challenges which it will bring.
Each year, we are proud to provide a nutritious school lunch for a large number of pupils in the developing world. In recent years, we have also supported Mary’s Backpacks, providing children with the resources needed to attend school.
During Lent, our whole school challenge supported Mary's Meals. Our initial plan was for each form to raise enough money to guarantee a school meal throughout the year, to a child in poverty. We were amazed to pass our original target, and raised enough money to feed nearly 50 children for a whole year.
Within school, all year groups select one or two charities to support throughout the year. Year groups organise cake sales, sponsored events and sometimes organise cafes at lunchtime! The charities are often personal to the year group in some way.
In celebration of their fantastic work in school, our GIFT Chaplains were given the opportunity to take part in a Diocesan Pilot scheme for the CYMFed Faith in Action award. We were delighted that ten pupils took on the challenge and were able to receive a Bronze Pin from Bishop John Arnold at his residence in Wardley Hall. Six of the pupils have recently returned from a pilgrimage to Lourdes with school and are working hard towards their Silver Pin.
Our Year 7s learn about CAFOD Harvest Fast, and end a week long focus by bringing tinned and packet food to our Harvest Festival Assembly. Donations are then taken to our local food bank.
Operation Christmas Child
By filling shoe boxes with toys, gifts, toiletries, small items of clothes and sweets, Operation Christmas Child is a campaign run by Samaritan’s Purse which has allowed us to provide Christmas presents for dozens of children in other countries at Christmas time.
We were proud to be able to sponsor the construction of an entire block of toilets for a school in Sierra Leone.
The Year 10 SARCHS Encounter Group travelled with HCPT: The Pilgrimage Trust to Lourdes during Easter for the first time with a similar group from St Bede’s, Lanchester. Pupils took part in fundraising for their pilgrimage and took on a full pilgrimage week in Lourdes alongside HCPT.
Year 7 Retreat
A day long, in-house Retreat, offering our new Year 7s a chance to get to know one another better, explore the theme of friendship, and learn about Jesus’ wonderful friendship with us all.
During year 9, pupils have the opportunity to go on retreat at Castlerigg Manor, Keswick (Lancaster Diocese) for a week in June. The retreat involves time away from the normal school week to encounter Christ and to build relationships with the other pupils in their year group. During Year 10 and 11, pupils are given the opportunity to return to Castlerigg for a weekend retreat in January.
A day of recollection for our GIFT Chaplains to develop them as Chaplains, to pray for the ongoing ministry of the Chaplains and to thank God for their accomplishments during the year.
Pupils in Year 10 are invited to take part in the Crossroads Programme, working with pupils at our partner primary schools with their transition to High School.
To minister the Body and Blood of Jesus during Holy Communion at our school Masses, our Eucharistic Ministers are made up of numerous staff and Year 11 pupils.
Whole school Masses are held at the end of every term to mark a number of significant events in the calendar: the final days of Advent, Holy Week and a Mass of Thanksgiving at the end of the school year. We also have voluntary masses which take place in the chapel on Wednesday lunchtimes during Advent and Lent, on Holy Days of Obligation and also for commissioning services for GIFT Chaplains and Eucharistic Ministers.
Two evenings during Advent we celebrate the joy and hope of the upcoming birth of Jesus with carols, readings, prayers and a time of fellowship with our families and friends of the school. This year, we focussed on the Advent Wreath and the themes that stem from it. Pupils were involved in the whole process from choosing and writing readings, rehearsing carols, singing in the choir, performing as a musician or serving drinks and cakes afterwards!
It is a wonderful way to prepare for the birth of Christ.
Remembrance Assemblies & Silence
Led by our Year 11 GIFT Chaplains, a week of Remembrance themed assemblies are delivered to each year group.
Each school day begins with prayer. The school follows a Weekly Prayer Theme. Staff pray together in morning briefing and the pupils pray the same prayer together with their Form Tutors at morning registration.
Hosted at St Mary’s, Langho, for four week intervals throughout the academic year, Edge is derived from the ‘Life Teen’ brand of Youth Ministry. Open to St Augustine’s Year 7 and Year 6’s from our feeder primary schools – why not come along and have a go?
Deanery Youth Ministry
Guided by Mr Williams in the John Southworth Deanery, we have strong links with the Youth Ministry events taking place throughout our deanery and across the whole of the diocese. During Lent, we were really delighted to be involved with the Deanery Youth Mass on the theme of being ‘Called to Greatness’. We worked with the Edge Group at St Mary’s, Langho to create prayer cards to distribute to the whole congregation.