• Chaplaincy Banner 4

Latest News

27/03/17 - Benediction Service

For most of our RS A Level students attending an Evensong & Benediction service was not only something new but also a shift in their understanding of liturgical language.

[Full Article]

27/03/17 - Pilgrims Hospice Visit

Year 11 RS students spent time at our nearest hospice in conjunction with their GCSE course revision on Medical Ethics

[Full Article]

27/03/17 - Chaplaincy Corner

When Spring arrives there is always a sense of new beginnings with daffodils bursting out, pink blossoms adorning stark branches and the buds of leaves beginning to appear and all this happening on the grounds of the Clarendon House site.

By the time the holidays are over the Easter season will have begun and for the bewildered and startled disciples on that very first Easter Sunday there was a new beginning when they encountered the risen Jesus. The old order had changed and a new hope made them rejoice.

For our students this is also a tough time as they give up their freedoms to revise for their examinations so that the Result Days in August also mark a new moment in their lives.

New beginnings beckon for me also and after 13 wonderful years teaching and being chaplain I am moving on to parish ministry in the Barham Benefice near Canterbury. As teachers we often have new or epiphanic moments when we see our students flourish and I think for any teacher moving on it is the day to day interactions with our tutees that will be very much missed.

I am pleased to say that Dr Sutton-Jones will become the new Head of Religious Studies and the school chaplaincy will be led my Mrs Jeffrey and Mrs Rosen. I would like to thank all my colleagues for all their support over the years and I wish the school every success and good blessings for the future. As could be said:- Floreat Domus Chathamensis et Ex Humilbus Excelsa

Rev Stefan Thomas
aka RevT


Footprints

footprints

Chaplaincy Christmas Corner 2016

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”   [Luke 2:7]

As this busy school term draws to an end and the dark nights lengthen there is a buzz of excitement among the students in anticipating the Christmastide.

During the 16th and 19th December the school continued the tradition of offering carol services for all students and staff.

The students listened to the readings of the Christmas story, sang carols and a Christmas song, and also enjoyed the fantastic music and singing of music students led by Mrs Holman & Mr & Mrs Gibbons. The finale was a special vocal tribute (by AVE) to Leonard Cohen and his celebrated ‘Halleluiah.’

This year the Chaplaincy Christmas Charity is to support the Thanet Winter Shelter project where accommodation, food, clothes are provided for the homeless during the cold winter months. A collection will be made during the Yr12 & Yr13 Christmas assemblies with the aim to raise over £100. It is as always a timely reminder that the joy of Christmas is not appreciated by all when we consider the plight of so many people not only in Syria but in our own country. It is easy to forget that at the time of Jesus’ birth there would have been nothing romantic or cosy in giving birth in a stable let alone using a feeding trough as a cot! Also, the flight of the holy family to Egypt to escape the mad machinations of a dictator is not too far removed from our own times. However, what is comforting is the message of hope in that the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it according to John’s gospel.

I wish all families associated with our school community a blessed Christmas of joy and peace and a well-deserved rest so to be ready for the New Year.

RevT

6/12/16 - It's St Nicholas Day on the 6th December

stnick

Did you know that Nicholas associated with the modern Santa Claus was actually a bishop who lived in Myra (modern day Turkey) in the 4th Century.

He was known for his charitable acts and gift-giving.

Prayer for the day
Almighty Father, lover of souls,who chose your servant Nicholas to be a bishop in the Church,that he might give freely out of the treasures of your grace:make us mindful of the needs of othersand, as we have received, so teach us also to give;through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,who is alive and reigns with you,in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever.

5/12/16 - On Monday 28th of November the Thanet Schools Chaplaincy Group (TSCG) held an Advent Praise Evening called AC/DC. Not the heavy metal band but instead "Advent Candles/December Carols." Approx 60 people attended made up of students with parents from the different schools who prayed, sang, wrote Christmas Cards for Thanet Winter Shelter Project to distribute to the homeless. Our thanks to Mrs Stoner in providing the refreshments and allowing the use of St Georges school.    

Rev

tscgacdc

18/9/16 - During 2016 one of our students, Umar, had the privilege of going on Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca which can be undertaken any time during the year In one of our RS classes we enjoyed his explanation of what this means for a Muslim and showed us some images of his pilgrimage. His presentation can be viewed here

29/6/16 - Chaplaincy visit to the ‘Prayer Tent’ @ St Georges School, Broadstairs, 22/09/16

We had an opportunity to visit the prayer tent and experience its sensory appeal. The themes allowed some of our KS4 students to feel that prayer is an external and internal spiritual experience.
RevT

The prayer tent at St George's was really enjoyable with all the different prayer and religious based activities. I thought that the boxes with things in representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was really clever as it displayed that the Holy Spirit is all around you and everywhere. It was all so uplifting and made me think more about God. I would love to go again and show more people the presence of God.
Charlotte M (Yr10)
 

September 2016 Chaplaincy Updates

Welcome to a new academic year and although our Chaplaincy Room is still in a chaotic mess due to the repairs on the roof and eaves I am hoping that it will be up and running by October. Nevertheless, the chaplaincy team is about the campus site.

Christening of Noah Cartland @ Holy Trinity, Broadstairs

A wonderful occasion seeing Noah, son of Mrs Natalie Cartland (Sociology) and Mr David Cartland (Business Studies, St Georges School) baptised into the family of the Church with four God-parents to support him. 11th Sept.

Michael & All Angels Holy Communion - Thursday 29th Sept 1.45pm

Due to the ongoing works on the Chatham House site, the service will now take place in the Careers Room next to the Library at Clarendon House site during the lunch break.

All are welcome.

14/7/16 - Chaplaincy Corner

At last Summer holidays are in sight and its that time of year where all are tired through academic and extra-curricular activity and yet remaining cheerful. I like to think that our school community is a mirror of the greater community in terms of core values and religious toleration. In our community we celebrate our differences in the appreciation of 'rites of passage' whether students are baptised or confirmed in local churches, or having been on umrah to Mecca and in sharing their experience of pilgrimage.

The summer holidays will bring other journeys to places in the UK or further afield and these can also be forms of pilgrimage in sharing time and stories with friends and families along the way. The summer season in the Christian calendar is known as Ordinary Time as if nothing particular occurs e.g. no great festivals. Yet it is anything but ordinary as students find excitement in holiday activities and I often find the sun makes them grow quicker so that by September they seem to have grown by an inch or two! In this Ordinary Time we are given time to explore the wonders of creation and for Mrs Jeffrey and her husband creation will be realised as they look forward to their first child this Autumn.
Wishing you all a blessed summer.
RevT & Mrs Jeffrey
 

23/3/16 - Pilgrims Hospice Visit

On 17th March, half of my GCSE RS class had the privilege of visiting the Pilgrims Hospice in Margate.

[Full Article]

18/3/16 - Chaplain's Corner

Approaching Easter means enjoying the extended evening light which is well worth the sacrifice of losing an hours sleep on Easter Eve as the clocks go forward one hour. We begin to feel more cheerful as we shake of the winter gloom and we have already enjoyed the earlier than normal Spring bloom of snowdrops and daffodils. The week running up to Easter is known as Holy Week in the Christian Calendar and it starts with promise and hope as Jesus is greeted triumphantly through the city gates of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which some of our students celebrated with their own 'Palm Monday' Eucharist. For Jesus' disciples they must have felt that they were treading a path leading to a greater glory only for a few days later to be cut short through betrayal, arrest and crucifixion.

Recently a group of our Year 10 students visited the Pilgrims Hospice in Margate as part of their RS GCSE Medical Ethics learning. Many were apprehensive for it meant confronting a place where death sometimes occurs; nevertheless, they chatted and laughed with the day patients and I was proud of how mature and caring they were in those brief encounters. In the face of terminal decline and inevitable death, memories of years long ago were resurrected and joyfully shared and with good humour.

I wish all students, their families and the whole of the school community a blessed Eastertide and a sense of risen joy, for Christians will proclaim on Easter Sunday - "He has risen indeed!"

Rev S.C.Thomas

 

 

16/12/15 - Students from CCGS (Tori & Mary) alongside their fellow ACF cadets from Margate enjoyed a Christmas Carol Service at St Johns Church.

[Full Article]

8/12/15 - An Advent & Christmas Praise Evening was organised by Thanet Schools Chaplaincy Group (TSCG) and hosted at St Georges Secondary School in Broadstairs

[Full Article]

7/12/15 - Advent Eucharist was celebrated in the Chaplaincy on the 7th December with readings from Isaiah 40 and Luke 1 on how John the Baptist links to the advent theme of preparation and expectation.

advent

6/12/15 - Some of our Yr13 Students attending a Benediction Service at Holy Trinity Broadstairs on the second Sunday of Advent. Throughout the service they observed symbols in relation to Tillich's thinking as part of their A2 Philosophy of Religion studies.

benediction

27/11/15 - Building Bridges - by Elliot Fox Year 11

On Sunday the 18th October 2015 myself and three other people from my year 11 class at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School presented work we had done from the last 6 months titled ‘Building Bridges’ for the European Day of Jewish Culture. In the group we had four different faiths, myself as a Jew, Conor Gray, a Buddhist, Josh Attwell, a Christian and George Nesbit a Jehovah’s Witness.

 As with every other year, an advertisement was put up to publicise our presentation, but unlike other years this one was picked up by a local radio station meaning that on the morning of the day my Dad and I went to the BBC Radio Kent studio in Tunbridge Wells to advertise this event. Between 6:30 and 7:50 am we made up a panel on ‘Growing up in a Multi-Faith Britain’ with two vicars, and then until 8:00 am Conor Gray joined the discussion to talk solely about the event.

Four themes were discussed during the day, with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore about oneness to introduce it, with each one being represented by a picture and explained to the visitors by us.

  • Oneness is the perfect expansion
  • Of our inner reality.
  • Let our heart’s oneness only increase
  • To make us feel
  • That we belong to a universal world family,
  • And this world family
  • Is a fulfilled Dream of G-d.

We chose this poem as we thought that it provided a poignant message that one day all division will be cast away from the earth and we will become a ‘universal world family’ which I think is the next step from merely building bridges between different cultures. There is an idea which says that one day a major event will unite us, something that has been replicated in films such as Independence Day. Whilst I am certainly not saying that there will be an alien invasion, there is a myriad of other ways it could happen such as antibiotic resistance or the rise of Isis, and therefore I think this poem does resonate in today’s society. Throughout the day the Nazi holocaust and Isis were things that were discussed a lot which shows how human righteousness can spring out of oppression.

Our first theme was multiculturalism, symbolised by a bridge (of righteousness) held up by pillars with names of different religions on them (including atheism). Take one away, and the bridge would be weakened and may even fall into the sea of anarchy, but keep them then the bridge will be strong in its diversity. As humans we often like to scapegoat as it keeps us blameless. Examples include Russian pogroms and the Nazi holocaust. Our message was by casting away this xenophobia we make ourselves stronger.

Next, we had a board on similarities, and this was shown by an old Hindu tale which suggests that G-d may be like an elephant. The idea is that we are blind men, and can only feel different parts of the elephant. One may feel the tale and conclude that he is a snake, and one may feel the legs and conclude it is a tree. Neither is completely wrong, but it is only by working together that we can find the true nature of G-d. This can also apply to non-religious people as the elephant could just signify good morals.

Our next theme was contradiction, and how it is present in the Bible, Qur’an and other holy books, and that in order to glean the true meaning you need context. The image we chose was a 100% literal Bible fighting another one, because without interpretation you will get contradiction. For the Bible we chose the quote from Exodus “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and Matthew “forgive your neighbour 7 x 70 times.” At first sight these seem to contradict each other, but actually the former was to stop people taking more than had been taken from them, and the latter was just an extension of that so actually they have the same sentiment. It is the role of the journalist to take quotes in isolation, and by doing so they can make someone say almost anything. In Islam, infrequent lone violent suras fuel fundamentalism when actually the Qur’an is a book of peace, and that is why you need to accept contradiction and add interpretation.

Our final message was partnership, which is what we thought epitomised building bridges the most. It incorporates oneness, diversity and similarities to create something special. The picture we went for was an Arsenal and Tottenham fan embracing, which shows how different people can co-operate. One has tarmac, and one has pillars, and without each other they are useless, but together they can build a bridge. This is something that can be seen throughout history, for example the alliance between the communist USSR and the capitalist USA to stop the common Nazi enemy, regardless of the latter atrocities committed by the former. A better example could be that in 1943, German forces occupied Bosnia and continued their exterminating of Jews. The non-Jewish Hardaga family sheltered the Jewish Kavilio family at great personal risk. 50 years later, the Kavilios saved the Hardagas in the Bosnian civil war which shows the value in different people helping each other regardless of culture or religion. Furthermore, to demonstrate this we had playing an orchestra made up of musicians from Palestine and Israel which we thought really captured the spirit of building bridges in action.

5/11/15 - Prayer box under construction sponsored by our Parents Prayer Group

photo

19/10/15 - RevT as an Army Padre to the ACF came as a surprise to even former students!

IMG_0763

Chaplaincy News: October 2015

Welcome back to a new academic year and into the term traditionally known as Michaelmas, or Michael and all Angels and is celebrated in the church calendar on the 29th September.  It was seen as a feast day with many customs and ritual associated with it in bygone times, whether baking a traditional loaf, cracking nuts and not eating blackberries after this date are just some of the more interesting anecdotes of our history. It is perhaps no accident that this day occurs with the shortening of day light and the encroachment of longer nights which gives rise to the imagery of Archangel Michael defeating the rebellious Lucifer and his cohort and thereby restoring divinity in the heavens (see in the Bible, last book – Revelation 12:7-12)
The day was commemorated with the Eucharist in the Chaplaincy Room.

Our Parents Prayer Group meeting has recommenced and it allows parents who have children at our school to meet up once a week to gather in prayerful fellowship in the Chaplaincy Room. This is open to all denominations and none and is currently led by Mrs Chiemene Hauptfleisch. For further details please contact RevT on sthomas@ccgrammarschool.co.uk

19/5/15 - Ascension Day

On Thursday 14th May a dozen CCGS students from the Acts 29 Club including three teachers visited St Lawrence Church in Ramsgate. We were met by Freda Parker (the Bell Tower Captain) who took us up to the belfry where RevT led a short service for Ascension Day. We were also joined by a visiting priest from the Seychelles. Our prayer aid was our helium balloon (see picture) and we braved three sets of ladders, the wind and rain in order to release it from the top of the tower and it was worth the effort! Afterwards we learned that many years ago the boys of Chatham House used to attend the Ascension Day Service at St Lawrence as it was a half day at school. Also as the church was running an open prayer day, prayers were said for the schools of Thanet at 5pm.

Chap Pic

29/4/15 - Easter Vigil Poem

This wonderful reflective poem was written by Josh Cialis (yr13) after attending the Easter Vigil service at Holy Trinity Broadstairs on the eve of Easter. The origins of this service can be traced back to the time of the early Church where the Paschal (Easter) candle was lit at the beginning of the service with the congregation lighting their own candles from it as the Easter sequence began.
Incense heavy air still and dark,
Lit only by the hope of what's to come.
While the flames outside dwindle
The people inside begin to kindle
Their own smaller flame,
Singular but bright they come together
Under one roof, to sing their praises
And their love. As the slowing prayers
Bring about the peace a rush of pipes and of bells
Fills the nave, and candles lit again and light be found;
To His guiding light we'll always be bound.

The cacophony of light and sound
Dies away but still joyful and ready
The people stand.
The blessing to be received with body and blood;
Alleluia Alleluia the people sing.
 

29/4/15 - Baptism goes English!

On the 19th April, during the last weekend of the Easter holidays, a baptism celebration was held for Mr & Mrs Harris’ son Alex at St Johns Church in Margate. The service was conducted by RevT and Alex was supported by four godparents and most of the English Department!

31/3/15 - Palm Monday Eucharist

On the 30th March we celebrated the Eucharist on our 'Palm Monday' (as we are not open on Sunday!). The Gospel of Mark (11:1-11, 15-19) about Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem & clearing of the Temple) was read by Josh A. surrounded by our Palm crosses. The service also reminded us about the importance of Holy Week.

photo 1

photo 2

 

25/2/15 - Reading Mark’s Blog in Contemporary language

  • What is it all about?

Reading and analysing what Mark is saying about Jesus – the man, his message and his mission.

  • Who should come along?

Anyone who would like to broaden their analytical skills currently used in subjects such as English, History and RS but also for those who are curious to know more.

  • What will I get out of it?

A chance for open-minded sessions and probably lively discussion and I’ll even throw in the gospel of Mark!

If interested come along…

24/2/15 - Wedding news

On the 15th February 2015, one of our former students, Victoria Epps (Clarendon House 2001-2006 and Chatham House 2006-2008) married Mark Ravenwood at Holy Trinity Church in Broadstairs [Full article]

December 2014

The time leading to Christmas continues to be a busy yet a productive season in recognising the need to prepare (Advent) for the Big Day.

On the 1st December the Eucharist (Holy Communion) was celebrated the day after Advent Sunday marking the four weeks before Christmas with the first of our Advent candles being lit. The chaplaincy room now has been updated with new stained glass windows, comfy seats and uplighters.

On the 8th December an Advent Praise Evening was held at St George’s Secondary School arranged by the Thanet Schools Chaplaincy Group (TSCG). This event allowed pupils and their parents from local schools to join in with prayer and carols, adding prayer ribbons to the Christmas tree and to enjoy mince pies and cups of tea afterwards – approx. 50 people attended. Our Advanced Vocal Ensemble (AVE) sang three wonderful carols and they were very much appreciated by the audience.

The Chaplaincy Advent Charity was for Christian Aid whose advert this year reminds the world that “not every one born in a stable survives” which concentrates on the plight of the rural poor in Kenya where infant mortality remains high. The Year 13’s contributed £74.67 which with government contribution doubles up to £149.34 - my thanks to them for their generosity.

Lastly, all students will enjoy a Carol Concert in the Chatham House Assembly Hall during last week of term where traditional carols and modern Christmas songs will be sung including musical contributions from our talented musicians.

2/9/14 - A thanks from United Services

20/7/14 - On Monday 14th July 2014, Mrs Sophia Jeffrey was appointed as the Lay Assistant Chaplain to the students and staff of Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School, Ramsgate and to assist the School Chaplain in spiritual and pastoral duties on the occasion of the Holy Communion Service marking the end of the academic year.

20/7/14 - In June the Thanet Schools Chaplaincy Group (TSCG) hosted a Pentecost Theme Evening at Christ Church Junior School in Ramsgate. The evening consisted of reflective images, prayer stations and practical stations in relation to Christian faith. The evening concluded with prayer (multi-lingual) and refreshments.

16/5/14 - I would like to thank Ahmad Ashfaq in leading the Friday Lunchtime Muslim Prayers and in his dedication in encouraging his fellow Muslim students to attend.

I wish him all the best in his A level examinations and further study at University.

16/5/14 - The pennies were counted from our charity boxes in collecting for the United Society (formerly the USPG) and sent on through Holy Trinity Broadstairs and considering we were only after small change a modest £57.38 (with a large share from CCVI pockets!) My thanks to all as any money collected goes on to realistic projects of education, malaria prevention, sanitation improvement projects in developing countries. For more about this see: http://www.weareus.org.uk/

2/5/14 - The Thanet Schools Chaplaincy Group invites pupils and their parents / relatives to a Pentecost Reflection and Prayer Theme at Christ Church Junior School, Ramsgate on 19th May 6.30pm. This will be an evening with prayer stations , refreshments and song and more importantly good fellowship. Hope to see you there.

19/4/14 - Congratulations to Chloe Rocke who was baptised at St Ethelbert’s Roman Catholic Church on the evening of the 19th April. Her baptism took place during the Easter Vigil Service in which Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. This vigil service has been witnessed by Christians since the 2nd century and is considered to be the most important service of the Christian calendar

5/3/14 - On the 5th March some students and teachers attended the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday including the Eucharist. Some received the imposition of ashes upon their foreheads - an outward sign of penitence going into Lent.

Earlier in the year the Chaplaincy celebrated Epiphany with students wearing the crowns left over from their Christmas crackers, and Candlemas with old candles being burned throughout the service.

7/1/14 - Happy New Year from the Chaplaincy team and I hope all are rested and ready after the Christmas break. The school enjoyed three afternoons of Christmas services in the Assembly Hall on the Chatham site a few days before the end of term. Mrs Hollman's wonderful musicians and singers entertained with Christmas themes and pupils also enjoyed singing some seasonal favourites. There were readings from the Bible and each afternoon finished with 'Hark the Herald' and a blessing. On Epiphany (6th) a Eucharist service was held in the chaplaincy with students wearing left over crowns from their crackers as we heard about the visit of the magi to Bethlehem. May your jouney also be enlightening into 2014 - RevT & Mrs J.

12/12/13 - On the 11th December, the Year 7-9 Students were pleasantly surprised by the unannounced visit of St Nicholas during Assembly at St George's Church. With his trade mark "ho ho ho" and wearing his red cloak,  bishop's mitre (hat) and carrying his crozier, St Nicholas (b. 270) explained his orgin as a humble and devout man living in Myra (Turkey) and coming to the aid of a man who could not afford his daughters dowry. Three girls volunteered to act as the daughters who recieved gold coins (chocolate ones on this occasion) dropped from the chimney of their house into their stockings as they were being warmed by the hearth fire. He reminded everyone that he is Father Christmas with the name Santa Claus originating from Saint Nicholas. He may be the person associated with the figure in 'Twas the night before Christmas' but more importantly his mission and generosity points continually to the greatest gift of Jesus being born at Bethlehem.
I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmastide.
RevT

stnick

2/12/13 - Advent Praise evening. Read the full article here

24/09/13 - Year 9 pupil confirmed. Read the full article here

10/09/13 - Term 1 & 2 newsletter can now be found here

07/05/13 - Head boy baptised. Read the full article here

17/04/13 - Terms 5 & 6 news and events. See the newsletter here

17/04/13 - On the 17th April Holy Communion was celebrated in the Chaplaincy room (during lunch break) for the first time and was well attended. The Gospel reading was Luke 24:13-35 Walk to Emmaus read by a Year 8 Student. RevT explained the significance of the service and how important it was for Christian faith.

24/01/13 - Terms 3 & 4 news and events. See the newsletter here

08/10/12 - Autumn news and events. See the newsletter here

20/06/12 - Chaplain licenced. Read the full news article here