20 Nov

At St Peter’s Woodlands the School Chaplains are involved in the school in various ways, allowing the children and community to experience how the Anglican faith can play a part in their growth and development.

Chaplaincy services in the school
The approach to chaplaincy in the school follows a broad Anglican approach to Christianity, which is always inclusive of those who are of different Christian denominations, different religious faiths or of no faith.

As chaplains, Rev’d Michele and Rev’d Andrew are involved in the school in many ways. The most obvious, co-ordinating the chapel services each week. This includes coordinating class chapel presentations that are themed to support class Units of Inquiry. Chaplains work with teachers to help students with these valuable opportunities to present to the rest of the school.

School chapel is an integral part of St Peter’s Woodlands’ Community life – engendering wonder, thankfulness, awe and compassion for the staff and students who attend.

The Importance of Prayer
An important part of every chapel service are the prayers offered. Through prayer we express our heartfelt needs to God.

In a Year 6/7 service in Term 3, students were offered five different activities they could do throughout the service, one of which was to write prayers about the pandemic.

It was very moving to see the number of students who opted to do this and express their hopes and needs through prayer.

When the chaplains meet with Principal Helen Finlay each week, as well as discussing chaplaincy issues, a prayer is said for the community and those in need.

The chaplains are always happy to receive prayer requests, please feel free to email these through (details below). Prayer requests can be kept confidential if you wish.

Chaplain Support
The chaplains also help in a variety of ways around the school:

  • Offer pastoral support for students and staff;
  • Participate in the Whole School Student Support Team
  • Assist with excursions
  • Help with Religious and Values Education (RAVE) components within a Unit of Inquiry
  • Help students write bulletin prayers
  • Lead staff reflections
  • Make class visits
  • Prepare students for admission to communion and confirmation
  • Support with special ceremonial occasions in the school and the broader school community
  • Conduct baptisms, weddings and, sadly sometimes, funerals

Connecting with other Anglican Schools and Churches
The chaplains also connect with other chaplains and joint Anglican School activities, giving opportunity to the students and staff to further their relationship with the wider South Australian Anglican community.

The chaplain’s role is shared between Rev’d Andrew and Rev’d Michele, who also share a role as Parish priests at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Glenelg. This provides a very strong connection for the school and its community to connect with our local Anglican Parish.

Everything and Nothing
The chaplains generally try to be in the right place at the right time to lend a hand. One of the best quotes to summarise this is;

“‘What is it you do?’ A chaplain ten years in the role was confronted with this question by an in-coming first year high school student, and before being able to formulate an answer a final year student came up behind them and declared ‘everything and nothing – the chaplain is just here with us.’” – Ministry in Anglican Schools – Principles and Practicalities, published by Anglican Schools Australia, 2012.

Connect with the chaplains
Feel free to have a chat to Rev’d Michele or Rev’d Andrew at any time should you wish to find out more.

Contact hours: Tuesday, Wednesday AM and Thursday
Email: [email protected]

Article by Rev’d Andrew Mintern, School Chaplain