School Chaplain: Revd. Holly Crompton-Battersby BA
Ipswich School’s historic Christian foundations are evident in its life in a number of ways. The practical and daily concern for each other and our wider community spring from our Christian tradition and ethos.
- Pupils and staff
- Pastoring individuals
- Practising our spiritual life
- Pausing for reflection together
- Praying for our school and community
Ipswich School has an extensive and well developed system of pastoral care involving tutors, housemasters, heads of section all the way to the Headmaster. The ordained Anglican Chaplain is available to staff, students and families for practical, pastoral and spiritual issues and is accessible to everyone regardless of religion and belief. The chaplain works as part of a team which includes the School Matron and the School Counsellor. Having a person slightly outside of the regular pastoral channels can be helpful to pupils who need a listening ear.
The Personal Development Programme has a twin emphasis on individual development as well as communal responsibility and service. Chapel is one of the important ways in which both of these are encouraged throughout the school.
Chapel Services are…
1. Relevant to life
2. Food for the soul
3. Pointing God-wards
4. Stimulating to the mind
5. Encouraging Community
Once a week every pupil from Year 3 to Year 13 attends a 10 minute weekday Chapel service. This often includes a hymn or song and prayer. These occasions explore spiritual, personal and ethical issues in a way which is accessible to pupils of all faiths and of none. Their purpose is to encourage the students to question and explore, rather than settling for an immature faith or a facile atheism. Perhaps for this reason, the majority of pupils of non-Christian faiths do not opt out of Chapel.
Termly Chapel Services for each part of the school offer pupils and families the opportunity of expressing our school community. There is Christian worship which ranges from a very accessible lower Prep Harvest service to an excellent sung evensong. The large Chapel Choir is very impressive and sings at a number of cathedrals throughout the year.
Annual services such as the Carol Service and the Commemoration of Benefactors Service, occasions on which the majority of the School gathers together, also help to foster a sense of corporate identity. Old Ipswichians are always a part of the school and all OIs are invited to the joint Remembrance Day service with the senior pupils.
Pupils and faith
Crosstalk is a group of lower school pupils who voluntarily meet weekly and share snacks, games, chat and open up a portion of the Bible for discussion.
The Senior CU group meets at breaktime to look at a short passage of the bible, pray and mutually encourage each other.
Confirmation Classes are currently being run in Lent term. Any pupil is welcome to attend and all who do are encouraged to explore Christian faith with their peers. The ‘Soul’ DVD series and discussion form the major part of the time. All pupils are expected to decide for themselves one way or another and should expect no pressure from parents or the school.
A regular part of our thinking in chapel and assemblies is to recognise our own personal, social and financial wealth and, whilst being thankful for it, seek to grow in our concern and generosity to those less fortunate than ourselves.
We encourage pupils to:
- have an awareness of their privileged position in the world and the moral obligation that they have to help others less privileged.
- think and act charitably in a way that will continue in later life;
- grow in their own sense of personal generosity
- be proactive rather than reactive in being charitable;
Pupils and parents regularly raise some thousands of pounds each term through sponsorship, events and chapel collections.
“Pupils show a generosity of spirit and appreciate the circumstances of those less fortunate than themselves. Their strong commitment to community service is evident with high levels of participation in volunteering and charitable fundraising.” Independent Schools Inspectorate Report 2014