Statement on Spirituality at St John's
St John's 2020 Conference delegates agreed unanimously that the Christian faith and Anglican heritage were central to the nature of the school and should be maintained and developed in the future, that it is an important facet of the school's life in a world where the pace of development renders much of what is taught in the classroom obsolete within a decade.
CHAPEL, CRYPT CHAPEL AND PARISH
Centrality of faith in the life of the school is so important, and is significantly represented by the chapel on the St John’s campus. The services in the chapel provide a pivot around which much of the daily and weekly life of the school is balanced. All Prep, College and Sixth Form pupils attend Mass once a week. College and Prep have chapel services Monday and Friday conducted by the chaplains, members of staff and the boys themselves, with each house at College taking turns to lead the service. Pre-Prep pupils attends a short service at the Crypt Chapel every Tuesday.There are services a the Crypt every Sunday evening for boarders and visitors. Once each term there's special Solemn Evensong. The Parish is open to anyone that meets in the Crypt Chapel on Sunday mornings.
Attended by all pupils, asking God’s blessing on the roles played, the first week of each new school year commences with a Combined Mass on Mitchell field, with the induction of prefects and commissioning of Council Members. Each new school term commences with a staff gathering in the chapel for Mass. On Good Friday and Easter Sunday morning services are held for participating players from schools attending our Easter Rugby Festival. An annual Remembrance Day Service is held on 11 November at 11h00 to thank God for all those who gave their lives in service of the community. The Pre-Prep enjoy a Mothers’ and a Fathers’ service, a Christingle service and our Grade 0 boys participate in Nativity plays – all particularly special for the young boys. Christmas is celebrated with a Combined Carol Service at St. Mary’s Cathedral, the school’s ‘Mother Church’, where the unfolding story of salvation in the scriptures is read against a background of superb singing and wonderful music. A few weeks later the Pre-Prep Carols by Candlelight is held on the main rugby field where there is much earnestness and even more fun from the boys. The Matrics’ year draws to a close with a Valedictory Mass in the chapel. This is a moving service as the boys, now young men on the verge of their lives, prepare to leave St John’s after 5 or 12 or even 13 years at the school. It is a privilege of the school that this farewell takes place in the context of a church service as the school community commits them to God’s care as they leave and go into the world to continue their lives. The Preparatory school also bids farewell to the Upper 3’s, as they prepare to move on into the College or senior, with a Valedictory Mass.
In the classroom all teachers undertake to uphold the ethos and traditions of the school. The Life Orientation programme has been combined with Divinity, forming Divinity for Life, so that as boys learn about the faith, they simultaneously explore what it means practically, and then find ways of taking the standards into everyday life. Thus the general Life Values that are inculcated in the boys, are derived from and founded on the teachings of the Faith.
During the year, a number of College boys who have come to faith are baptised, and others make public their confession of faith at Confirmation. A number of Prep boys are admitted to communion in the chapel. This growing faith is seen not only in formal services, but in the growing number of boys and girls who have joined Cell Groups and regularly meet together for fellowship, worship, prayer, study and support. Two or three times a term all the cells meet together for a fun evening of worship, teaching, prayer and games at a Cell Celebration.
We are particularly thankful to God for the rich heritage of faith that is part of the fabric of the school, and also for the way He is blessing the spread of His Gospel within the school and beyond. Each boy that comes to faith – and there have been many during the course of the year – stands as a witness within the school, deepens the faith level at the school and helps us to be light and life and love, in keeping with the school’s motto Lux, Vita Caritas, in a world that desperately needs these graces.
STAFF CORPORATE COMMUNION