Reflection – Relationship – Resilience
Spiritual Life and Chapel at Bede's is open to all; regardless of which faith (if any) pupils belong to.
Led by our School Chaplain, Jarrod Taylor, the Chaplaincy team are available for discussion on any topics that might be of interest; whether of a spiritual nature or more practical issues. The Chaplaincy team is there to listen to and be available to all.
At the heart of it all is the Christian message that Creation is good.
How do we keep overlooking the words in the Book of Genesis Chapter 1 Verses 1-31, when God said that creation was good and indeed very good! This is the starting point, and the Chaplaincy at Bede’s seeks to allow people to realise their potential for goodness, know that they are loved - even when they don’t feel loved, and to remind them of their value when they have forgotten. And, to inspire them to do the same for others.
In a time when there is so much choice, life can be overwhelming and, with so much happening at the rate it does, it can be very easy to miss the essentials. It seems that we have every option in deciding who we are meant to be, or what we are meant to do or say: we can be all things, but end up being no-thing in particular.
At Bede’s, it is about discovering the realities of our lives, which includes: being honest and open to our daily encounters, processing them, and allowing them to be our guides and lead us into action by consciously discerning between the good and the better.
We acknowledge that not all have a religious background, however we encourage everyone here in our school to nourish their relationship with the realities and truths of living as a human being. Our responsibilities lie in journeying together with our good and bad encounters towards what is good, praise-worthy and true. As the Franciscan priest Father Richard Rohr puts it, “If it is true, it is true here, there and everywhere.”
As Bedians arrive for Chapel they enter into a tranquil space and are greeted with gentle music.
We all stand together and the Chaplain lights a central candle: a visual symbol of our hope.
Upon being seated, our sense of hearing is filled with the sound of a singing bowl signalling our time of stillness together. We walk through four steps in our minds and hearts:
It is then time to sing. Singing is an opportunity to enrich our sense of community. A short homily follows which may be given by a Chaplain, student, visitor or staff member. This is when we listen together. Homilies will engage us here and now. This will primarily come from the Bible and will go hand in hand with truth that is shared in other faiths. At times, what is profound is unveiled in the human stories that we all carry. Chapel will then be concluded with prayers which we are all invited to join in out loud, or to echo in the silence of the heart.
Every Wednesday night the Chapel is candlelit for a reflective service of night prayers, and on Friday we run sessions for those wanting to deepen Christian Faith.
If students of other faith traditions want to get together, they are encouraged to speak to the Chaplains to make arrangements.
Special services take place in the local village church (for example, our Harvest Service and our frequent house Evensong services), in our large multi-purpose sports hall (especially our annual gathering for Remembrance Day) and at St. Saviour’s Church in Eastbourne (our beautiful Christmas Carol Service).
The Chaplaincy at Bede’s seeks to ground people in human life.
What that means is laughing, crying, celebrating and mourning. It means doubting, learning, failing and discovering.
We may all have our different beliefs but even they can be shattered by our experiences. The most repeated phrase by Jesus Christ is – ‘Do not be afraid.’ At times we will be aware that there is only one thing that can carry us through and that is faith. Faith need not be an adherence to certain laws and beliefs but the profound sense of trust, despite circumstance. A deep acceptance of reality which brings ultimate peace and leads us into resilience, reflected by the candle we light every day in Chapel.
The Chaplains are therefore available to anybody who wants or needs someone to listen and to guide them through their circumstance, to rejoice and to mourn or simply to be present for whomever it is that walks through the doors.
The Chapel Committee is made up of students from various faiths and backgrounds who endeavour to embody the ethos and to work in their peer groups to bring the message and function of Chapel to the here and now.
They will keep their fingers on the pulse, as it were, in gauging what Chapel needs to engage with and how that is done.Students, every third week, will give talks in Chapel and this a profound way of sharing stories that relate to our community.
In addition, every Monday at Lunchtime our Faith Matters group meets for discussions together with good food and fellowship.
The Chapel is our Chapel and we all contribute to making it what it is. When this is accomplished, it opens us up to that presence in which we all belong. The Chapel, then, represents our participation and collaboration with this life that has been given to us