Within the community of St Joseph’s, the main source of unity is the person and mission of Jesus. Through prayer, sacrament and witness, the Chaplaincy brings Jesus to the life of the school and all its members. The College has for many years benefited form an outstanding Chaplin in Julia who finished her service in July 2014. Following a recruitment process where no appointment could be made a meeting was held involving the Principal, Chair of Governors, the Head of RE and a diocesan representative. This meeting agreed an alternative model for Chaplaincy in the College to be trialled in 2014-2015.
This new model will take a team approach in order to foster the spiritual development of students, staff and all the families involved with the school, providing a diversity of programmes and activities to foster integral growth. They will take special responsibility for preparing and organising acts of corporate worship, school liturgies, feast days, retreats and days of reflection and they will seek the support of the local clergy, as necessary. They will provide resources to enable members of staff and students, as well as clergy, to take an active part in promoting the spiritual life of the whole community.
The Chaplaincy board aims to accompany and support those in the community who are suffering in any way, both personally and in their families. Our aim is to be is distinctive but inclusive. We will encourage students who are celebrating the joys and hopes of being young and foster their deepening sense of their own self-worth. An essential feature of Chaplaincy is relationships based on gospel values, relationships that are built on respect for each person as being created by God, thus helping to build a "Witnessing Community".
The work of the Chaplain and Chaplaincy board is based on the directives of the Diocese of Clifton and the ethos and pastoral orientation expressed in St Joseph’s mission statement.
The Chaplaincy Board
Canon John Cunningham
Mrs Liz Croft
Mr Abel Nunes
Mrs Concetta Barkham
Mrs Liz Vincent
Mrs Fiona Payne
Mrs Zosia Mobey
Mr Paul Hughes (Chair)
Students and staff have the opportunity of participating in collective worship in a variety of activities:
- Every tutor group prepares and attends at least one class mass or liturgy during the year.
- All year groups attend mass or services to mark the beginning of the academic year.
- All year groups attend services to mark Christmas and Easter and are given the opportunity to attend services of Reconciliation during Lent, to prepare themselves for individual confession.
- Daily prayer is read in every tutor group at the beginning of each day.
- Annual Remembrance Mass, where feeder schools and local community are invited to participate.
Other Chaplaincy activities include:
- The opportunity of a residential retreat at St Cassian's Centre in Kintbury for every student in all years.
- Easter Pilgrimage to Lourdes, open to all.
- Annual sponsored sleep out for Threshold Housing Link, Swindon's charity for the homeless.
- Distribution of Easter eggs to various outreach centres in Swindon, including the Great Western Hospital.
- Fairtrade Stalls are held every two weeks. The commission from the sales is shared between the Subanen project in the Philippines and FIOH (Future in our Hands) in Swindon.
- CAFOD – supporting justice and peace issues and participating in CAFOD campaigns.
- Family Fast Days.
- Fundraising for various local, national and international charities, including De La Salle projects in the developing world.