Bernard Howell

The origins of chaplaincy and the role of the school chaplain are explored in the first of a two-part article. Beyond the sacramental role, school chaplaincy has a pastoral dimension writes Bernard Howell, chaplain of St Thomas More Catholic school, Walsall.

The curriculum in most Catholic secondary schools in England will be complemented by a range of support services which will most likely include some level of chaplaincy provision. This could be from a priest who provides a sacramental presence within the school, with perhaps some pastoral input. It may include a lay chaplain who will work alongside the priest to broaden this provision and could include the preparation of liturgies, leading prayer, preparing resources for staff and facilitating different groups and activities to complement the Catholic life of the school. There may be a recognisable chaplaincy ‘department’ within the school that provides a range of services and offers a broader and more structured chaplaincy presence in the school that will include a significant pastoral dimension.

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