Mr J Seabrook – Assistant Head teacher – Religious Life and School Communications
“Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to them”
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Bishop Stopford’s School strives to be a Christian Community of Love and Learning. The way we are taught, the way we are nurtured, the way we are valued has an incredible impact upon how we develop and mature into the people we become. Christ confronts us to turn our lives and the practice of our faith upside down and back to front in order to see God in all things and so bring Him in to the centre of our lives each and every day.
For our students and parents, the fact that we are a faith school has enormous significance. We seek as a community of learners to live the truths of the Gospel, to live in peace and harmony with each other, to work for reconciliation and tolerance among all peoples, and we live in the hope of heaven.
Each week pupils will receive a school assembly which contains an act of Collective worship. The theme of week will be presented by a member of the Senior Staff in a presentation, pupils will lead prayers for the world and school community and the school prayer will be said in mass. See above for this week’s theme.
Daily worship is an essential part of the school community and all form groups follow the school ‘Pause for Thought programme which is linked to the theme of the week. These sessions can be teacher or pupil lead and contain Biblical passages, music and film clip videos and prayers.
Holy Communion, the sacred meal instituted by Christ himself as the way of remembering his love and the Word of life he gave us in the holy scriptures are celebrated at the end of each term in the school. Two houses attend daily in the last week of term; pupils read the Bible and lead the worship, prayers and music. Each day we welcome the Bishop of Edmonton or a local priest or minister from the Anglican church to celebrate the Holy Communion.
Once a year each house celebrates their patronal festival. The Dates are as follows:
- St Georges
- King Alfreds
This celebration provides pupils with an opportunity to worship within their house community and give thanks for fellowship and love they receive. Each of the six Houses celebrates their annual Patronal Festival with a special Holy Communion. These special celebrations offer a real opportunity for each House to showcase the success and gifts of their particular members through music, drama and art, as well as providing a space to look at those Patrons associated with each House and to draw strength and wisdom from the example. Each celebration sees staff and students working closely together in the presentation and preparation of these services. At each festival we welcome a local priest or minister from the Anglican church to celebrate the Holy Communion.
In addition to our Collective Worship pupils have the opportunity to worship God in smaller services held in the chapel. Morning Prayer is said weekly and is lead by staff and pupils.
Annually the school celebrates its Foundation with a service of celebration in the school hall. This takes place in the first week of July. A chamomile plant and the school rolls are presented the new Head Boy and Girl and the Prefects for the forth coming academic year are presented to the school. These all serve as symbols of the past struggles, the present day workings and the future glory of the school.
At the end of the first term the school celebrates the birth and incarnation of our Lord with a carol service. Pupils will read, sing and lead prayers in celebration of Christmas.
At the heart of our school stands the Chapel. The Chapel provides an opportunity to be close to God and appreciate and contemplate his glory.
Every Monday morning the Prayer for all Stopfordians is offered by the Chaplain and pupils and a candle is lit for all Stopfordians.
Once a term the worship committee meet to review, discuss and plan the Religious Life of the school. This committee is made up of Governors, Staff and pupils.
All students and staff who regularly make their communion in their own parish or church are welcome to receive Holy Communion at any of our School celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. Anyone who is unable to do so is encouraged to come to the priest and to ask for a blessing.