The Catholic Life of the School
Prayer and Worship
Prayer and worship are at the core of each day at Sacred Heart. In addition to beginning each day with an act of morning worship, often led by pupils, all members of the school community take part in weekly assemblies following a themed calendar which reflects our rich liturgical heritage both as a Diocesan school and a member of the worldwide Sacred Heart Community. We aim to live out the mission of our founder St Madeleine Sophie Barat who said, “Make prayer your delight; there find your rest and your happiness.”
We aim to enable pupils to see prayer as a companion in their faith journey, and therefore in addition to opportunities to attend the Eucharist and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, pupils take part in meditation sessions and annual retreats where they can develop their prayer life and understanding of their faith.
The Kairos Centre
In September 2013, a designated Chaplaincy centre known as The Kairos Centre opened at Sacred Heart. The centre takes its name from a Greek word which means ‘the perfect moment in time to take action’. We recognise and instil in our pupils that our Catholic faith calls us to action in many aspects of our life. The centre is located alongside the Chapel and provides a meeting place for pupils and staff, whether it’s needed for planning an assembly or training for the Social Justice group or simply a quiet space for a pupil to have a chat with the school chaplain. In addition to the Kairos Centre, and the Chapel which dates from the mid-1800s, we also have a Prayer Room where the Eucharist is reserved, open throughout the day for quiet reflection and prayer.
The Common Good
At the centre of what it means to a part of our Sacred Heart community is a passion to serve others in need as well as recognising the vast opportunities for personal growth and understanding that can be gained from working alongside other communities. At our heart is an understanding that we are part of a global family, and all members of the school community are encouraged to support a number of projects throughout the year in practical ways which put into action Jesus’ call, ‘”I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.” Our fundraising endeavours are especially concentrated during the seasons of Advent and Lent when we seek to support educational projects established by the Sacred Heart family in the developing world. This has included supporting the rebuilding of a nursery school in the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan and more recently the work of a school for disabled children in Chekalini, Kenya. Fundraising is not enough however, and our sixth formers have shared their talents with those in need recently by embarking on a home building project in Mexico City as well as working as volunteers as part of the HCPT Easter Pilgrimage.
Partnership with parents & parishes
We recognise that our role in the faith development of our pupils works alongside that of parents and local parishes. We encourage our pupils to take part in events run in local parishes as well as at Diocesan level, such as the Good Samaritan Mass, and promotion of World Youth Day in Krakow in 2016. We invite our local clergy to celebrate the Eucharist with us, as well as working with us on Retreat days and attending our Advent and Lent Liturgies. Parents are encouraged to attend Year Group Masses and are kept informed of other opportunities for prayer and worship as well as our fundraising projects.