Hello and Welcome to Chaplaincy

Carmel EditedOur Chaplaincy Team is made up of staff, pupils and Lay Chaplain Carmel.

We have a wonderful team of Chapel Prefects who plan and lead student prayer every week, based on the prayer theme for the week.   RE, Drama, Technology, Geography, ICT, Art and PE are just some of the departments which contribute to our worship and the ways we live out our faith at St. Mary’s.



A faithful group of year 11 students went with Carmel to ‘Flame’ – a Catholic youth event in Wembley arena on Saturday 2nd March. It was an early start to get the coach down to London with Animate, but what a fantastic day! We met lots of other young people growing in hope and faith, Tim Hughes led us in worship, we had adoration and heard a great message about recognising our own significance and “staying in our own lane, with our eyes on Jesus” by Robert Madu. Guvna B inspired us with some rap music, and we loved travelling home with inflatable Jesus!

CAFOD Fast Day

On Friday 15th March we held our CAFOD Fast Day in school. The CAFOD group ran assemblies in the build-up, praying for justice. Between a non-uniform day and lunch donations, we managed to raise £674.62 which is great! We also fasted throughout the day with simple food being served at the canteen and a noticeable lack of meat. Students were challenged to pray, fast and give.

Lent Reflection Days

Throughout Lent, Catholics make an extra special effort to grow closer to God through praying, fasting and giving to others. Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 have all had the opportunity to have a day off timetable to step away from the busyness of school life and find time to reflect on the bigger picture. Each form group took part in workshops looking at music, peace and reconciliation, communion and community, the Liturgy of the Word and personal intentions. The workshops all fed into a special Mass for the year group as a whole in our local parish church with Fr Mark. Students particularly enjoyed making the prayer bead bracelets and being led in meditation, which can take a lot of patience!


Savio House

On 16th January a group of 30 students from years 7 and 8 went on a retreat to Savio House with Carmel, Miss Farrington and Mr Hayhurst. We had a GREAT time! From an exciting adventure on the coach getting there, to lots of team games and prayers, to the celebration Mass and karaoke – a great time was had by all! One of the highlights was Mr Hayhurst’s dancing (including the ‘lawn mower’ during Mass, and ‘the worm’ at the disco!). Our theme was ‘bridges’ and we came back to school feeling that the friendships between us, and God, had definitely been strengthened.

We now have a Chaplaincy GIFT team in school! ‘GIFT’ stands for Growing in Faith Together. They are a lively and enthusiastic group of year 7 students who have a passion for serving others and sharing God’s love. So far they have led assemblies on anti-bullying, helped to prepare Mass in school, organised prayer activities in the Chapel and led form groups in an Advent prayer service. The group demonstrated great courage through a thorough application process; writing letters to Mr Reynolds and receiving training from the Diocese of Salford. They are a wonderful blessing and a great addition to our school!


Four of our year 11 students travelled to Liverpool with Mrs Thompson, Carmel and Connor (a local seminarian) on the first weekend back after the summer holidays to take part in a national youth congress. The day consisted of prayer and worship, a welcome from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, an inspirational talk by Katie Prejean, a workshop led by the Salesian team from Savio House and Adoration. It was great to be a part of something so special, surrounded by other young Catholics. We travelled there with students from St Cecelia’s High School and came away feeling enthused and energised!


CAFOD Harvest Fast Day

On Friday 5th October we celebrated CAFOD’s Harvest Fast Day as we do each year. Our year 11 students demonstrated courage by delivering assemblies on this theme in the build up to the day, and our amazing CAFOD group made some great arrangements to help us brighten up our world! Our Friday lunch was a vegetarian meal, and we really focused on the idea of ‘living simply’ – swapping our usual chicken and chips for simple rice and pasta dishes.  Students showed great kindness by donating the money they saved on their lunch to CAFOD to support their amazing work overseas. We also made lots of people smile by giving out free stickers in the lunch queue!

Aid to the Church in Need

On Tuesday 10th October 2017 a group of year 10 students went with Carmel to Corpus Christi to learn more about religious persecution in our world today. The speakers were Bishop Matthew Kukah (of the Diocese of Sokoto, Nigeria), Fr Salah Kajo (of the Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh, Iraq) and Stephen Rasche (Counsel & Aid programme Coordinator for the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil, Iraq).

The talks were very moving and we all learnt a lot, and came away appreciating our own freedom and homes, whilst standing in solidarity with those whose stories we had heard.










Savio House Trip

Years 7 and 8 thoroughly enjoyed their retreat at Savio House, experiencing God in friendship, prayer and fun. We explored decisions we have already made and thought about what our futures might bring. The water-balloon volleyball was a definite highlight!

SVP Food Bank Appeal

Bosco house were the winners of the interhouse food bank competition ran by the SVP group during Lent. As a school we donated 957 items to the local Parish food bank and the Salvation Army. A great way to help those in need:

“I was hungry…” (Matthew 25:35)

Journey to Sanctuary

During the first week of Lent we hosted the ‘Journey to Sanctuary’ exhibition in school. It was an audio visual experience of a refugee and we traveled through eight small rooms from a safe peaceful home, through a war situation, displacement camp, right through to a detention center and eventually a bed-sit in a city. It was a really powerful experience which touched many of our students, staff and members of the local community who were invited to join us. We learnt much more about the experiences of refugees. As a result, we have a ‘promise wall’ on which students have committed to pray for refugees, educate others with the truth, make donations and appreciate that we have more. We have also sent messages of hope through CAFOD which will directly be handed to refugees. When asked about their experience one student said, “I felt sad for the family as they did nothing wrong. I also felt shocked that this happens.”

Lent Days of Reflection

During Lent we have been taking some time to think about Jesus’ journey to Calvary. We have been reflecting in year groups on the Stations of the Cross and taking part in some creative workshops, each focusing on a station. We’ve used collages to place ourselves in the crowd (Station 11: Jesus is nailed to the cross), prayed about times when we feel we can fall under the burden of our crosses (Stations 3, 7 and 9: Jesus falls) and thought about people we love, and people who love us (Station 4: Jesus meets his mother). Thanks to Brendan from CAFOD, who came and ran a workshop on Station 6 (Veronica wipes the face of Jesus) and taught us more about Blessed Oscar Romero. We will use our own responses from these days to form our end of term service before Easter.

Meal of Service

On Friday 10th March on CAFOD Fast Day Year 7 pupils won the opportunityImage result for plate of food pasta bake to have a 3 course meal served to them by Year 10 Leaders. This special meal helped to raise money and awareness of hunger and service. By serving the younger pupils Year 10 realised the importance of serving others as part of Lent. At the same time the Year 7 pupils became aware of the inequalities of a world where some have plenty and others have nothing. Older pupils supporting younger pupils is at the heart of the school’s House system.

Year of Mercy

Thomas Hocking and James Knell were very happy to celebrate Mass at Salford Cathedral on Friday 25th November to mark the end of the Year of Mercy. We travelled with St Patrick’s Primary School and enjoyed being part of a joyful celebration where Bishop John prayed with all the schools in Salford Diocese. It was a great reminder to live out our Gospel Values!

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day

We celebrated CAFOD Harvest Fast Day and it was great: students paid £1 to come in their own clothes, the whole school said a grace written by our CAFOD group and some students did a sponsored fast for 24 hours!! 

In addition to this we had an exciting lunch time – our CAFOD group led students in a ‘blindfold taste test’ where they sampled 9 different foods and tried to guess what they were. Each form was allowed one entry, and there was an overwhelming number of volunteers. The foods included avacado, mango, sweet potato, blue cheese, turkey, guacamole and marmite crisps! Everyone who took part was presented with a fairtrade chocolate bar as a ‘well done’.
We believe that it’s important to take time to think about the flavour and texture of our food, and this can help us to appreciate what we are eating, and feel more motivated to help those who are without. 
We had a great day raising money and awareness, and praying together.

Stand up for faith and freedom

A small group of year 9 students attended the ‘Stand up for Faith and Freedom’ day hosted by Aid to the Church in Need on Wednesday 6th July. We enjoyed being at Stonyhurst College, and learnt a lot about persecuted Christians in our world today. It was a very eye opening day, and emotionally charged, as some of the stories shared were very sad.

We pray for a world of religious tolerance, where we can learn to respect each and every individual.

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