A Chaplain's Experience - Joys and Challenges of the first half term.

28th October 2020

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Returning to a new school year, following a lockdown of months was new to us all. The new school year has (and continues to) present an unprecedented number of new and ever-changing rules. We know that Chaplains across the UK are working incredibly hard to make sense of this ‘new normal’ and want to share your experiences – the positives and the challenges.

In our October Newsletter we asked you to share your stories around the ‘Joys and Challenges’ of the first half term. Thank you to those who contributed.

 

Jo Kudlacik, MFL Teacher and School Chaplain – The Kings CE School, Wolverhampton.

 

There have been too many joys to remember them all: the joy of seeing our young people again and their enthusiasm for coming back to school, the joy of spending time outside in the prayer garden with them!

Starting up a gardening club where a handful of Year 8s appear fortnightly like a whirlwind and leave 20 minutes later having dug and weeded and planted a new bed! Working with a new science teacher to set up Eco-club and having a full room of pupil volunteers for the first 2 meetings.

Pupils in crisis being open to and responsive to a quiet prayer together. Being able to be in the right place at the right time when colleagues and pupils wanted to share their sadness or frustrations. Taking our harvest donations to local foodbanks and seeing them weighed. Collaborating with pupils across the age range and colleagues across the school to put together acts of worship.

Although there have been challenges too, planning, and leading special acts of worship has been a particular challenge as we are currently not able to go to local churches, or even all meet in one room. 

Technology is great but it takes a while to get used to. Leading worship to a screen and participating in worship from a classroom where the leader is on the screen are just not 'real'.  The need to reduce form time in the morning means that part of the day is a constant rush, it is no longer provides time for quality reflection.

 

 

 

Rachel Ross Russell, Chaplain - St. Francis Xavier School, Richmond

 

I have found great joy in being able to come back into school each day and spend time with our students again.

The biggest challenge I am facing is working out a way of doing our Whole School Services this term virtually!

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