Bede's Spiritual Ethos

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In the words of the American singer, Bob Dylan, ‘the times they are a-changin’’. For Chaplaincy, times are changing too.

No longer can (or should!) there be a requirement that entry into discussion of all things ‘spiritual’ presupposes a personal and particular belief system, or some kind of requirement to place oneself in a mould that might not fit; today it is so very important that people feel like they belong – that they are cared for – in the first instance and then the larger questions of life can be engaged with.

We all long to be known and still loved. It is the great quest. It is relationship.

At Bede’s, the essence of our Chaplaincy is relationship; it’s about supporting, listening, discussing, educating, challenging – caring! We are honoured to share the joys and pains, the laughter and the tears, the mundane and the more exciting – all that our community experiences on the spiritual pilgrimage of life.

Contrary to one popular interpretation of the word ‘spiritual’, this does not presuppose or demand that all are religious. Rather, we interpret the word 'spiritual' to relate to all aspects of the non-tangible realities of our existence – the inward, the outward and the upward. For some this will include a belief in the existence of God. For all, it will include an awareness that within ourselves we possess a spark of light that becomes a flame as we consciously reflect on the awe and wonder of our world, and the meaning and purpose of our place within it.

In all areas of our Chaplaincy (from the informal one-to-ones and general chats as we meet around the school to the formal weekly Chapel services and the Christmas Carol service), we believe that relationship is key. To this end, as Chaplains we seek to be in the school community, engaged in everyday life, getting to know others and be known ourselves.

We are also available in the Chaplaincy which is open each day. Many pupils and staff stop to chat, rest, pray and, more often than not, enjoy the supply of biscuits and crisps! The Chaplaincy is there to provide all Bede's pupils and staff with a place to reflect and explore the spiritual dimensions of life.

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