The Chaplaincy at SFX is an integral part of college life, serving students and staff of all faiths and none.
The Chaplaincy promotes the belief that all are made in the image and likeness of God. It aims to foster a sense of responsibility for oneself and others, and encourages a deepening and maturing of faith so as to equip our students to face with faith the challenges and joys of life.
Our full-time Lay Chaplain provides our community with various opportunities to explore and deepen spiritual beliefs through voluntary prayer services, times of reflection, and retreats. The Chaplain also manages The Base – a welcome social space open to every member of the SFX community. The Base provides a safe space in which students can meet together, play games, and discuss and debate issues that affect them. There is only one entry requirement; that all feel accepted, valued, and respected.
In accordance with SFX’s Gospel values, the Chaplaincy at SFX reinforces the Christian instruction to accompany faith with works of justice and mercy. This is supported through facilitation of college-wide fundraising drives and awareness events which uphold our Catholic ethos. Working alongside the college pastoral team, our Chaplain also helps to support individuals coping with the stresses of daily life and those faced with particular challenges such as bereavement, ill health and loss.
The Base is a welcome social space open to every member of the SFX community. It provides a safe space in which students can meet together, play games, and discuss and debate issues that affect them. There is only one entry requirement; that all feel accepted, valued, and respected.
Prayer is at the heart of life in the Chaplaincy and there is the opportunity for students and staff of all faiths to pray together in college each day.
Morning Prayer takes place every day at 8.20am in the Chapel. This normally lasts around ten minutes and consists of reflection, scripture readings and silence. A prayer service or Mass takes place every Friday at 1.00pm in the Chapel. Larger services and feast-days are celebrated each term and always attract lots of student involvement. A multi-faith prayer room is also available for students and staff to use.
Retreats and Recollections
Retreats are organised throughout the year, particularly to Kintbury in Berkshire. Reflections take place in the chapel during Advent and Lent as part of the Religion & Philosophy Programme.
Every year, a group of students are trained to be readers and Eucharistic ministers in order to assist at the liturgies that take place in college. Please see Ian if you are interested
There is the opportunity for Catholic students to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in college. This will involve a number of preparation sessions and the Bishop will come to college to celebrate the sacrament after Easter.
The chaplaincy offers a wide choice of Enrichment activities allowing students to support both local, national and international communities, as well as the opportunity to develop skills and UCAS personal statements.
The Charity Committee meets at lunchtimes and allows students to help organise charity work and social justice events in college. Examples of events that can be organised include bake-sales, a charity-shop take-over, carol-singing, fairtrade fortnight and sponsored walks. Students decide what issues they want to raise awareness of and support, such as the refugee crisis, human trafficking, modern day slavery and domestic violence, for example.
Tutor Reps are students who volunteer to be leaders in their tutor group, helping the tutor to run activities and animate tutorials. Being a Tutor Rep provides the opportunity to develop leadership skills and confidence with group work and public speaking. Reps meet every two weeks with Ian for training and to organise activities that can be led by the reps in tutorials.
The Chaplaincy Team meets once a half term and consists of students and staff. The team helps to organise and evaluate issues in college concerned with ethos and Chaplaincy.
Volunteer work in the community
The Chaplaincy helps students make a difference in the local community. Opportunities that are currently being investigated include volunteering at a local residential home and at a local soup kitchen. See Ian for more up-to-date information on these projects.
Throughout the year there are many ways in which the college supports charity work. In Advent and Lent, a college wide charity campaign takes place and fundraising also takes place within tutor groups and with the student council.