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St Mary's

R.C Primary School

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Chaplaincy Team

At St. Mary's we are fortunate to have a team of 10 pupil chaplains, who are guided by Mrs Hutchison. Our chaplains play a very important role within school, leading prayers in our assemblies, coordinating the fundraising of St. Joseph's Penny and helping out at school events.

Meet the Team

Class Worship

Year 6 members of the Chaplaincy Team prepared and led the class worship for their class.  They involved lots of pupils and the worship included dramatising the Gospel Story 'The Wedding Feast at Cana', prayers, a chance for every member of the class to include their own prayer and a hymn. 

Lunchtimes 

The Chaplaincy Team help in the chapel at lunchtimes. During Lent pupils have been writing Lenten prayers and promises.

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus 

To celebrate the end of the Christmas Season, and the Feast of the Presentation, the Chaplaincy Team helped pupils to make their own lanterns.  These lanterns contained names of people, or words or symbols to represent things in our world they wished to pray for. We thought about Jesus bringing light into the darkness.

The Great Catch of Fish

Our Chaplaincy Team prepared and presented an assembly for the whole school on the Gospel story 'The Great Catch'. This was followed by a lunchtime activity for pupils to come and design their own fish and write what they would do to show they are followers of Jesus.

Chaplaincy Celebration Day

New members of our Pupil Chaplaincy Team were commissioned by Bishop John during a celebration event at Blessed Trinity.  Our pupils had a fantastic day,  meeting and working with Pupil Chaplaincy Teams from other schools. 

El Salvadorean Crosses

To celebrate the canonization of Saint Oscar Romero, the team helped younger pupils to make their own Salvadorean crosses. 

Rosary Club

In the month of October our pupil chaplains lead the Rosary and help pupils to write their own prayers to Our Lady.

Lunchtimes

The Pupil Chaplaincy Team organise lunchtime activities for pupils. Pupils can call in and write their own prayers, pray quietly or with others or go down to the grotto and blow some prayer bubbles.  

Quiet Mondays

Every Monday the chapel is open to everyone. Pupils can come in for as long as they wish.  We play quiet music and pupils can 'just be'. Pupils can quietly read bible stories, pray with the prayer teddies, prayer cube, say candle prayers or write down  prayers or thoughts of their own. Sometimes we have a theme if it is a special feast.     

Lunchtime Lenten Activities

Lenten promise crosses

We have been working with pupils at lunchtimes and leading some Lenten activites. Some pupils have made Lenten promises on crosses and placed them on our prayer tree.

Lenten Stained Glass Windows

We played quiet music and pupils were able to put the names of people they wanted to pray for on stained glass windows, colour them and pray for the people whose names are written there.

Sorry Prayers

We had a little candle and water service. We symbollically washed away our sins and thought about the warmth and light of Jesus's love for us.

Our Advent Read Around

Two members of our Chaplaincy Team go to ballet lessons and decided to 'dance' Silent Night as a form of worship. It was beautifully done and very moving.

New Neighbours Together

We were very proud to be asked to the launch of New Neighbours together. We have supported this charity in our Harvest and Christmas collections. It was very interesting listening to the real life stories of some of the refugees helped by this charity.  We were delighted to be asked to hold the ribbon which was cut by our MP Julie Cooper. We brought the balloons back and put them in our chapel so we could pray for the refugees. 

Anti bullying Week

We designed  some anti bullying posters in the chapel at lunchtime.

Our New House Saints

We have been helping our younger pupils to think about our  new House Saints: Saint Bernadette; Saint John Vianney; Saint Teres of Calcutta and Saint Maximillian Kolbe.

Welcoming Our New Intake Parents

We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming parents of our new intake pupils.  It was lovely to be able to share with them our memories and thoughts about our school.

Rosary Club

During the month of October the team have been leading the Rosay Club at lunchtimes. They lead the prayers and  help the younger pupils to use the rosary beads.

Celebrating Chaplaincy

Last week our new Year 5 members of the Chaplaincy Team had a fantastic day celebrating chaplaincy at Fisher More  with other teams from our local schools. In the morning all the teams gave a little presentation and then did lots of interesting and fun activities. The theme for the day was 'I can make a difference'.  They did a starfish activitiy involving team work to show that working together can make a bigger difference. Another activity was making a beaded angel, designing interesting packaging and they were taken home to sell and the money to go to a charity. This was to show small acts of kindness make a big difference. A clay cross was decorated to display at home or school to show that sometimes making a difference is not easy and we all have crosses to bear. They designed and made a bookmark to illustrate the theme of the day - small acts of kindness can make a big difference to the lives of others.  They made beautiful friendship bracelets to give to a friend as a sign of the friendship they share.  After lunch with new found friends, Bishop John celebrated Mass and commissioned our new members of the Chaplaincy Team.

Rosary Club

We have been continuing our usual October tradition of saying some of the rosary. Members of the Chaplaincy Team have been leading the prayers and helping younger pupils to use the rosary beads.  Prayer Teddy has been accompanying us.  On good days we have been able to go to the grotto area and the rest of the time we have met in our chapel.

Reception Induction Evening

Members of our Chaplaincy Team were on hand to welcome parents, give them a copy of our school prayer and to lead an opening prayer for the children who will be joining us in September.  

Crowning of Our Lady

The Chaplaincy Team helped to organise the flowers for the Crowning of Our Lady.

Delivering Flowers

After the Crowning of Our Lady, the Chaplaincy Team distributed flowers to our local elderly neighbours and to the local elderly care home.  Everyone loved the flowers and the chance to chat with our pupils.

Lunchtime Activities

The Chaplaincy Team have been leading and  helping younger pupils with lunchtime activities in the Chapel. We have made lantern prayers for the feat of the Presentation, Green heart prayers to show we care about our environment and the world, Journey Footprints with Year 3 who are on their sacramental journey and thank you prayers for our ‘Good News’ book.

Advent Activities

During our lunchtimes we have been listening to stories from the Jesse Tree, colouring our own symbols and making stars of hope. The Chaplaincy Team, along with year 5 and 6 pupils, have been leading these activities for the younger pupils.

Rosary Club

During the month of October the Chaplaincy Team, with the help of Prayer Teddy, have been leading the rosary at lunchtimes. On good days we have been able to say our prayers by our grotto.

Harvest

We have had a wonderful response to our Harvest Collection this week. We started the week off with a Harvest Assembly and ended the week with a celebration Mass. Father Peter came into school to say Mass for us and it was lovely to be joined by some parents.  Thank you to everyone who sent in donations of food. They will be given to local people who are in need. 

Chaplaincy Reflection Day

This week our new Year 5 members of the Chaplaincy Team joined other Chaplaincy and GIFT Teams for a day of celebration at Blessed Trinity. Our theme for the day was ‘On A Mission’. We started with morning prayer and then each team did a presentation to show the work we all do in our schools. It was a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and make new friends. Father Chris spoke to us about disciples and pilgrims. We worked in mixed groups and had a lot of fun making a hat, shoes, a loud speaker, a mobile phone and some wide, welcoming arms. We had to dress up a team member in these items and have a parade. These items all linked us to God. We brought them up as part of our offertory procession in the Mass.

 

We enjoyed lunch together and then prepared for Mass. Bishop John, and some of the parish priests, celebrated Mass in the afternoon. Father Laurence joined us.  New members of the Chaplaincy Teams were commissioned by the Bishop. It was a very special occasion. Blessed Trinity Chaplaincy Team gave each team a special memento for our prayer area. It says ‘With God all things are possible’. The chaplaincy team and staff at St. John’s, Padiham gave us all one of their special jet set angels to guide us on our mission and always be at our side.

We couldn’t ask for a better start to the year. 

Our Patron Saint

When we went to a training session with Canon McBride, we learnt that the word chaplain is very interesting.  It comes from the story of Saint Martin of Tours. 

     

Saint Martin  was born around the year 316. He was the son of a man who served in the Roman Army. The rule in those days was that if your father had served in the army you had to join the army too. So at the age of just 15, Martin became a soldier, though he never liked it very much.

 

One good thing about being a soldier was that you were given a warm woollen cloak to wear in the cold weather. One of the most famous stories about Martin has to do with that cloak. He was wearing it one windy, cold day as he rode his horse into town. Martin really looked like a proud soldier in his uniform and cloak, his horse prancing along and his shining sword hanging from his belt.

As he rode along, he noticed a thin, sick-looking man shivering in the cold by the side of the road. The man was surely very poor, for his clothing was old and full of holes. He had nothing warm to keep out the cold.

Martin was sad to see that nobody was even noticing the man. Having no money with him, he stopped, pulled his sword out of his belt and cut his woollen cloak right in half. Leaning down from his horse, he gave half to the poor man. Then he wrapped himself in the other half, and went on his way to town.

 

Some people laughed at Martin as he rode by—he looked so strange with half a cloak! But that night something wonderful happened. As he was sleeping, Martin had a vision of Jesus Christ in heaven, surrounded by angels and wearing half of Martin’s cloak. Jesus said to the angels, “See how Martin has covered me with his cloak.”

 

When Martin heard these words, he thought of what Jesus had said when He was teaching the people. His words were, “If you do something to the least of these my brothers, you do it to Me.” He knew that he wanted to serve Jesus for the rest of his life

 

Martin went to the ruler of the land—the Roman emperor. He said, ”I have served you as a soldier, but it is not right for me to fight anymore. From now on I am a soldier of Christ

Once again, some people laughed at Martin. They said, “You’re just making excuses because you’re afraid to fight.” The emperor was angry at losing a soldier he could trust and depend on.

But Martin didn’t let the laughter bother him. He didn’t let the anger worry him. For the rest of his life, he served God  as a priest, then as a bishop. Any person in need could count on his help. He cared for prisoners and those who had been accused of crimes, and sometimes was able to save them from being put to death.

 

He taught many people about God, and the joy of God’s Kingdom. Traveling over many miles on foot, by boat, or riding on a donkey, he set up parishes and monasteries in Paris, Chartres, and other places.

The cloak of Saint Martin became a sacred relic.  The Latin word for cloak is ‘capella’  and from this we get the words chapel and chaplain.  A chaplain has to be like Saint Martin and his cloak – bringing care, comfort and warmth to people.

Joining The Pupil Chaplaincy Team

Our head teacher, Mr Jones,  feels the Pupil Chaplaincy Team has a very important part to play in promoting and protecting our faith in  the school.  At the start of each school year our head teacher speaks to the pupils about being a member of the Pupil Chaplaincy Team .  Pupils have   question and answer sessions with   the team so they can get a real feel for the job.  Next you write a letter of application to Mr Jones.  Pupils are then invited to an interview.  Mr Jones,  Mrs Read and Mrs Hutchison, our staff Chaplaincy Team leaders,   interview us.  When the decisions have been made Mr Jones comes for the new Chaplaincy Team members  and they are taken to meet the rest of the team.

Chaplaincy News

Once again our chaplains have been very busy over the past few weeks. They have been helping out at the Parents' Evening meetings and greeting mums and dads as they arrive for their appointments.

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