School Chaplaincy

“I came that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

The school chaplain ministers to all members of the school community: pupils and their families, all staff and governors.

Historically the role of chaplain primarily involved the provision of the sacraments and was fulfilled by a priest. Most Catholic Secondary Schools and an increasing number of Primary Schools in Britain now have paid lay chaplains who usually work along side local priests. The role has broadened out to include:

  • pastoral care
  • spiritual life
  • liturgical celebrations
  • collective worship
  • social awareness 
“In working with young people, do not try to call them back to where they were,
and do not call them to where your are, beautiful as that place may seem to you.
You must have the courage to go with them to a place neither you nor they have been before.”
(Christianity Rediscovered – V J Donovan)

Jesus spent time with people, meeting them in their own environment and walking alongside. The principle role of the school chaplain is to do just that in the name of Jesus.

School chaplaincy is a varied and rewarding ministry. There is no such thing as a typical day in school chaplaincy however they often include:

  • time spent with pupils, staff, or other members of the school community individually or in small groups
  • linking with outside agencies
  • meetings
  • preparing with pupils for liturgies and assemblies
  • extra curricular activities

A phrase that sums up school chaplaincy is “wasting time in school”.