The Chaplain has a leading role in the liturgical and spiritual life of the school, helping the school to be a faith community, ensuring the celebration of the Sacraments and encouraging staff and students to live out their faith daily. There is a full time Chaplain, Miss Bailey, who works closely with and is supported by members of SLT, the RE Department, clergy and religious sisters.
There are three important Ursuline feast days, feast of St Ursula (21st October), feast of St Angela (27th January) and Foundation Day (23rd April) and mass is celebrated by the whole school in Brentwood Cathedral on these occasions. All Holy Days of Obligation are celebrated as they occur throughout the year and all such liturgies are an integral part of the life of the school. There are three 'House Masses' celebrated in school which are prepared and led by House Captains and prefects. Students take an active role within the Liturgy through reading, singing and serving. There is a lunchtime Mass every other week in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel which is led by students.
All students take part in a Reconciliation Service at least once during the year. The services are very positive and prayerful, with many students choosing to come forward to receive the sacrament or a blessing.
At Harvest Festival students are asked to bring in a 'gift' of tinned goods, dried food, toiletries or art materials. The donations are then shared between some of our local charities such as Basildon Women's Aid, St Francis Hospice, The Brentwood Foodbank and Little Haven's Children's Hospice.
On each Friday in Advent there is a short Advent service where the wreath is lit. The service is made up of readings, reflections, prayers and music.
The role of the Liturgy Leader is co-ordinate the prayer time during morning registration. They work with their Form Tutor and other members of the form to help make prayer a central part of registration.
Students are encouraged to play an active role within school liturgies. We ask that those who have been trained and serve regularly in their parish join our altar serving team and so contribute to our school masses. There is an appointed MC who works and co-ordinates the group.
Throughout the year all RE classes have at least one lesson with Miss Bailey. The lessons usually take place in the Chaplaincy on a range of different topics from Saints, to choices, to beliefs. Some of the lessons are reflective others involve drama or discussion, the common theme through all lessons is to centre ourselves back onto faith and they conclude with a time of prayer.
All students have the opportunity to attend a retreat during the year.
In Year 7 all students participate in a full day retreat which is led by the Chaplain. The students are in form groups and the day is in the Autumn Term in order to help students settle into BUCHS and to get to know each other better. The retreat involves prayer, reflection, games, team building, group work and concludes with Mass.
In Year 8 and 9 all students participate in a full day retreat which is led by Year 12 and 13 students who have participated in the Sixth Form Kairos retreat at Worth Abbey. The Retreat Team give presentations on 'My relationships with others' and 'My relationship with God'.
Year 10 and 11 students are given the option of attending a three day residential retreat at the Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre, Walsingham House. The retreat gives students the opportunity to take a step back and look at their lives as well as being able to deepen their relationship with God. Often students form new friendships as they get to know others outside of their usual social groups. The retreat involves games, team building, small and large group activities, and time for prayer and reflection.
Year 12 and 13 students have the opportunity to take part in the Kairos Retreat at Worth Abbey. The Year 12's are the retreatants, while the Year 13 students take on a leadership role, through leading small group discussion, times of prayer and giving presentations. For many it is a life changing experience, helping them to learn more about themselves, others and God.
There is a Justice and Peace group who meet regularly and lead different fundraising events through the year. The group is open to all students. Justice and Peace week takes place in February when students from the group lead all the assemblies, help to organise a 'Rich world/poor world' meal. Mass is celebrated during the week where we pray for justice around the world. There is also a non-uniform day to raise money for different projects in Africa.
As a group we also attend the annual Schools J&P Day which is hosted by a different school each year.
There are regular opportunities for students to take part in meditation. The meditations are usually guided and can help students to relax and take a step back from everyday life. These sessions are run in particular for older students during exam time.
Ursuline Links UK was started by an Ursuline sister from Forest Gate. She has created links between the Ursuline communities in the UK and overseas. The projects have been running since 2011. The aim is to give students the opportunity to take part in different service projects in the UK and the USA. The students have taken a great from these experiences and it is a great way to life our St Angela's direction of service to others.
We have strong links with the BCYS with many of students attending youth events around the Diocese. Every summer a large number of students join the pilgrimage to Lourdes. It is a wonderful and moving week for all involved. As well as Lourdes, many of our students attend Youth Gather and the monthly Youth Mass.
As well as leading the liturgies in school, the Chaplain is also available for students to talk to on a one to one. If students are struggling in school or at home and feel they need someone to talk to then they can speak to the Chaplain.
The Chaplain is there to support the whole school community, staff and students.
The Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Queens Road, Brentwood, Essex. CM14 4EX
Tel: 01277 227156
The Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (registered number 8212425).
Registered office: Queen’s Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4EX.
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