Tuesday 14th February 2017

Happy Valentines Day!

 

Monday 13th February 2017

Refugee Crisis

Last year, thanks to Lord Dubs, our Government agreed to take 3000 child refugees who are far from their homes and separated from their families. So far, 350 have been allowed into the Uk.

This week, the Government back-tracked on its commitment. They suggested it encouraged children to make the dangerous journey across the sea to the safety of other countries like the UK. They perhaps haven't considered the dangerous journey may just be a safer bet than staying in Syria.

These children are helpless, completely alone. They are without their parents and families and are desperately trying to survive. They are scared, hungry, cold and tired. And our country has only welcomed 350!

Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, has reiterated the importance of caring for the most vulnerable in our world. He has said: “The entire international community has a duty to protect refugees, especially unaccompanied children who are often most vulnerable to exploitation or trafficking. In addition to its aid and resettlement programmes in the region, I hope that our government will continue working with other European countries to identify and support unaccompanied children on their journey to safety. The Catholic community also has a role to play by praying for all those who have been forced to flee their homes and by supporting action to relieve this crisis.”

The Bishop has asked us to pray. We must never underestimate the power of prayer. We must pray for the children, that they may be helped soon.

It is not only Catholics that have spoken out about the upset over the government’s plans to stop more lonely child refugees entering the UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has spoken out: “I was saddened and shocked to read in the ministerial statement released yesterday that only 350 children will be received under the regulations in the Dubs amendment. Our country has a great history of welcoming those in need, particularly the most vulnerable, such as unaccompanied children.”

He then went on to say: “Refugees, like all people, are treasured human beings made in the image of God who deserve safety, freedom, and the opportunity to flourish. Jesus commands us to care for the most vulnerable among us."

Let us pray in harmony with our Christian brothers and sisters for a resolution to this matter.

Jesus, friend and brother, You know what it is like to be hungry and thirsty. You know what it feels like to be a stranger who is made unwelcome. You know the suffering of all who have lost everything. We pray that our government reconsiders its actions and continues to welcome the unaccompanied children of Syria.

Amen

 

Monday 28th November 2016

Prepare the way of the Lord

“Prepare the way for the Lord” is our schools Mission Statement – something that we all try to live out day by day.

During Advent – a season of preparation for the coming of Christ into the mess of human life – it takes on a much more important role in our school.

In the Gospel of Matthew we are told that it was John the Baptist who was sent to prepare the way for the Lord by baptising people in the Lords name as a sign that we had turned away from sin. During Advent it becomes increasingly important to turn away from sin and seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation. By doing this, we are moving any obstacles that might be blocking our own paths to Christ. Forgiveness of our sins ensures that the path to Christ remains straight and clear.

But Advent isn’t just about repenting – we need to fully prepare in every way that we can to ensure that this season is filled with God and not just our messy, busy everyday lives. Clearing out life’s obstacles as well as our wrong-doings during this season is invaluable for our prayer and reflection on the coming of Jesus Christ.

Imagine yourself walking through life with a backpack on your back. It’s heavy! Weighed down with all your worries and hopes and fears and memories. It is filled with good times and bad, grudges and sadness, joy and love. Absolutely everything is packed into that backpack!

If you are anything like me, then you may tend to hoard things – hold on to things for years and years out of nostalgia or “just in case I ever need it again”. Last week, when clearing out my wardrobe to find winter clothes to send to the Syrian Refugees I found it difficult to part with one particular jumper that I had had since I was 11. I am now 24 and there is no way that I will ever be small enough to ever wear it again – but still, it was difficult to let go.

The same can be said for our backpack of life. Sometimes we find it difficult to let go of things like anger or resentment. If someone has been unkind to us, it is all too easy to hold a grudge against that person for years. But that is not preparing the way for the Lord! That is not making our path clear for him. In carrying that heavy backpack we are weighed down and struggling along that path towards Christ and it will not do our backs any good to haul all that baggage around.

Advent is the time for us to clear out our backpacks. Get rid of all the heavy stuff weighing us down. Keep only what we need – happiness, love, friendship, compassion, forgiveness. Remove everything we don’t need – grudges, jealousy, doubt, anger, unkindness. Our backpacks will be lighter and our journeys made easier and so we can welcome the birth of our saviour refreshed and well prepared.

 

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

All Souls

Here is a story for reflection on All Souls:

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond.

They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look" said one of the water bugs to another. "One of our colony is climbing the lily stalk. Where do you suppose he is going?" Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends watched, and waited but it didn't return.

 "That's funny!" said one water bug to another

. "Wasn't he happy here?" asked a second water bug.

 "Where do you suppose he went?" wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together "I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he went and why." "We promise," they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and fallen on to a broad, green lily pad above. When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.

By and by, the new dragonfly landed happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends the water bugs. There they were scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. Then the dragonfly remembered the promise: The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he went and why. Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water.


"I can't return" he said in dismay "At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, none of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become Dragonflies too. Then they will understand what happened to me, and where I went"

And the Dragonfly flew off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Introducing Our Student Head of Chaplaincy!

Hello,

I am Ryan and I am writing on the blog to introduce myself. Some people may or may not know that I am the Student Head of Chaplaincy, and that’s the reason I am writing this!

I am in Year 10 and I am interested in ICT and I started to develop my ICT skills when I joined Geek Squad in Year 8 - I am still a dedicated member! I am also interested in electrical engineering, hence why I help Mrs Chapman and Mr Inman regularly, whether it be identifying potential safety risks or testing the fire alarm system.

As Head of Chaplaincy, my goal is to get as many people involved in the chaplaincy groups as possible and for people to understand that Chaplaincy isn’t just about going to Church, it can involve fundraising, charity work, debates and many different fun activities. Another goal is to fundraise for Chaplaincy as much as possible so we can improve the Chapel, whether it be doing up the Peace Garden or providing better facilities for Spiritual Life in school.

Now I hope you have a clear idea of who I am, what my interests are and what my goals for Chaplaincy are!

Look out for future posts written by myself!

Thanks,

Ryan Kershaw 

 

Tuesday 27th April 2016

Chaplaincy Peace Garden

For those of you who don't know, the Chapel has its own little garden in the form of a courtyuard. The space is currently neglected and in need of some TLC.

So, I challenged my Chaplaincy groups to come up with ideas of what we could do. We decided to create a space where people can come along and have some quiet reflection alone, somewhere to have morning prayer in when the weather gets warmer and jsut somewhere quiet and peaceful to escape to when you're feeling stressed out. And so we began to plan our Peace Garden.

We have lots of great ideas about flowers, fairy lights, mosaics, art work, benches and water features - but all of these need MONEY. The Chaplaincy budget could stretch to a couple of packets of seeds, but it would be far from an inspiring place to pray and reflect. 

So the wonderfully imaginatie Y8's came up with some fantastic ways to fundraise. The first is a cake sale - this will be taking place in the Chaplaincy at break time on Friday (29th April). Staff and students are welcome to come down for a munch!

The second (and perhaps the most exciting) is a Chaplaincy Movie Night on Wednesday 4th May after school (3:05-5:00pm) where we will be screening Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones in honour of Star Wars Day - May the 4th be with you....(; get it? Tickets are £2:50 and this includes entry, sweets, popcorn, drinks and a good laugh. We welcome you to bring with you any Star Wars memorabilia so that we can imerse ourselves fully into the theme of the evening! Tickets must be purchased from the Chaplaincy BEFORE Wednesday 4th in order for me to cater for sweets etc. 

The Chaplaincy thank you in advance for your support and look forward to the warmer days when we can sit out and enjoy our revamped Chaplaincy Garden!

Prayers, Maria

 

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Welcome to the SEAChaplaincy Blog!

A very warm welcome to you reading St Edmund Arrowsmith’s first ever Chaplaincy Blog!

My name is Maria and I am delighted to be the new Chaplain here in school. I’ve set up this blog (well truthfully the wonderfully talented IT Technician, Mr Gribbon has set up this blog, as I can barely switch a PC on) with the intention of getting the word out to the community, students, staff and parents about what it is that we are getting up to here in the Chaplaincy department.

The blog will feature a whole host of exciting content written both by myself and the students – we will include photographs, reports, reflection points, bible studies and everything in between! So stay tuned and keep checking for our first instalment coming up in a few days!

Prayers and Best Wishes,
Maria