St. Mary's Chaplaincy

Year 10 & 11 Castlerigg Retreat

Castlerigg group photo

Last week, a fabulous group of 42 students from Y10 & Y11 went on retreat to Castlerigg Manor in the Lake District. It was a week of fun, laughter, walks, food and reflection in the wonderful surroundings of Keswick. The team of young volunteers at Castlerigg were fabulous- they helped us to get to know each other better, build up relationships and share about our lives and our faith journeys, as well as teaching us new songs, fun games and leading us on beautiful walks to experience fantastic views. Our group bonded fabulously, had a great time singing and dancing at the disco, and parted at the end of the week with a tear in the eyes of many of them. It was a truly special week full of memories that will last a life time. Huge thanks to Mr Allen, Miss Patten, Mr Jones, Mr Eccles and Daisy who gave up their time to share the week with us and helped us to learn and experience so much.

Creating a Snowdrop Carpet in the Park

Planting snowdrops

A trip to Stanley Park went out last Tuesday with Rainbows Group for the annual planting of snowdrops in conjunction with local primaries. The bulbs were planted in memory of Donna Curtis (Donna's Dream House), an ex-pupil of St Mary's. The Edward Dee Fund, another local charity who work to raise awareness around the dangers of meningitis and sepsis, donated the snowdrop bulbs.

The group were then treated at the Stanley Park Cafe to juice and cake, paid for by an extremely kind member of staff. A good day was had by all and special thanks to the team Stanley Park Cafe who made us feel so welcome.

Stanley Park Cafe

CAFOD Harvest Fast Week

Brightly Coloured Sweets Sale

Last week, the Chaplains and CAFOD team were busy organising fundraisers for this years' Harvest Fast Day with the theme "brighten up". On Monday and Tuesday, we held a bright coloured sweet sale, selling everything from sherbet to Skittles. On Thursday after school, our Y11 & Sixth Form Sport Leaders organised a Clubbercise class for us, using glow sticks, neon paint and disco lights to create a fantastic atmosphere and encouraging us to "brighten up" and get fit at the same time! On Friday, we had our annual "Brighten Up" day where students were encouraged to come to school wearing bright accessories and makeup. The school had never looked so sparkly! The canteen even put on a Harvest Fast Day Lunch for us of soup and bread to encourage us to take part in the Catholic tradition of fasting and abstinence on this day.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us to reach our fundraising total of £401!

Ethos Day 2019

 
On Tuesday 24th September, the whole school was given the opportunity to explore our Catholic Ethos by taking part in Ethos Day. Students spent the day in forms, reflecting on the special Catholic characteristics of our school with their form tutors. Time was spent learning about this year's Learning House themes and Saints and exploring how we can learn and grow in this regard in the year ahead. Many forms used the time to create artwork and displays, write prayers and reflections, and even play simulation games to explore their topics!
 
We also had the opportunity to think about our own gifts and our calling through Pope Francis' poem "We need Saints." Students thought about how each one of us is called to be a saint in our own way by utilising the great gifts and talents we have been given for the good of everyone. We also came together to celebrate Mass in the sports hall, which was based upon the parable of the mustard seed. We were reminded that "great things come from small beginnings," and that we all therefore have the potential to do great things, even if at the moment we may feel small and insignificant.
 
The sixth form had an "away day" to explore our Catholic Ethos, but had the opportunity to celebrate in school on Thursday 26th with their Learning House Mass based on the theme of serving others. Students worked hard to create artwork, write prayers and sing lovely songs to ensure that we had a really meaningful celebration of the Mass. Other Learning Houses will have the opportunity to come together to celebrate a Mass based on their theme at a future point in the year.
 
In all, we had a wonderful day and a fantastic celebration.