St. Mary's Chaplaincy

Snowdrop Planting for Donna’s Dream House

Snowdrop planting

On a wild and windy Wednesday in October, a small group of KS3 student braved the elements to head out to Stanley Park.  Our mission was to plant 1,000 snowdrop bulbs in a section of the park near the lake on behalf of Donna’s Dream House. We were one of 7 schools invited to take part in this event, which will not only extend the flowering season in the park for all, but will also create a beautiful “memory walk” for bereaved families who use the Snowdrop Centre run by Donna’s Dream House.

Our students did a fantastic job of planting the bulbs in areas where people will be able to enjoy them in the spring, as well as seeing lots of insects and bugs up close and friendly! They are very excited to return to the park in spring to see the flowers in bloom!

For more information about the work of Donna’s Dream House and the “snowdrop” memory walk in March, please visit their website

Brighten Up AOK Week/ The Harvest

AOK 2017 messages

The week of 2nd- 6th October saw the school buzzing with not one but two events: Acts of Kindness Week and CAFOD Harvest Fast Day. For Acts of Kindness week, we encouraged all staff and students to go out of their way to be kinder to each other. Staff took part in a “secret act of kindness” style activity, where we left anonymous gifts and messages for each other, and students were encouraged to “throw kindness around like confetti.”

In order to support students in their acts of kindness, we ran a kindness sweet delivery service, where students could send a packet of sweets with a message attached to a friend, hand delivered by our Re- Generation team. On the Thursday, we also ran a kindness cake shop, where cakes were only sold in 2’s: one for yourself and one for a friend. We were blessed to have received a generous donation of cakes from Sainsbury’s supermarket to help this event be possible. All of these events had the added bonus of raising money for CAFOD, our Harvest Fast Day charity.

Throughout the week, students were asked to encourage, thank and support one another. One way of doing this was by attaching some of their  “kindness confetti” comments to our AOK board on the Street. As the week progressed, the board was filled with wonderful messages of support and appreciation for each other, including inspiring quotes and thank you messages for their teachers.

Wear Something bright day

The week culminated on the Friday with Harvest Fast Day itself. Students were encouraged to wear an item of bright clothing- be it a wig, a tie or bright shoes- all to raise money for this good cause. Students were also allowed to wear makeup and nail varnish, and the Chaplains (with the help of some wonderful sixth formers and members of Re-Generation) held a nail bar at break time to help students “brighten up” for the day. Mr Allen even allowed some students to give him a makeover with their neon paints- thank you so much, Sir!

Thanks to the efforts of AOK week and Harvest Fast Day, we raised a whopping £367.96 for CAFOD, which will go to help those most in need across the world. A huge thank you to everyone who took part in any of the events. We hope that spreading kindness won’t stop with the end of the week!

It's Fun Volunteering with the SVP

SVP Volunteers

 "Fun" and "rewarding" these were just some of the words when the Youth SVP visited StreetLife's "The Base" resource centre in Blackpool. Here are the team of young volunteerers working their way sorting through the generous donations gathered in their recent Harvest Appeal. Personally, I was amazed at the sheer volume of work we got through in the hour we were there. 

Well done! 


Mr Gibson.

Meet our new Gaplain

AleksHiya! My name is Aleks, I have just finished two years volunteering at Castlerigg Manor and I am very excited to be your Gaplain this year.

A Gap Year Chaplain is a person who works for the school and volunteers for CAFOD at the same time. So I’m around to chat about anything, from music to cartoons, as well as introduce you to CAFOD’s work, helping you to understand more about the world problems and work towards a positive change! I will also be helping out with the work of the Chaplains, from clubs and activities to assemblies and prayers.

I will try my best to keep up the marvellous legacy of CAFOD Gaplaincy at St Mary’s and I’m counting on you to be a part of it! I'm very much looking forward to meeting all of you and wishing you the best possible start to the new school year!

See you soon! 

Find more about me, and other Gaplains online at: