At Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Academy we have a full time Lay Chaplain, Ms Julie Currall, who bears witness to the Catholic life and mission of the school and is a positive role model for pupils, treating all with love, care and respect. She is visible and approachable around the academy and treats every member of staff and pupil as an individual, demonstrating love and care through every interaction.
Welcome from our Chaplain, Julie Currall:
Hi Everyone, my name is Julie Currall and I am the chaplain here at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Academy. I feel very lucky to be your chaplain, for so many reasons, but primarily because it is such a privilege to be part of your journey as you grow and flourish.
Not long after I began working at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith in 2013, I heard Pope Francis say this:
‘Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society.
They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people - spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, and joy.’
Every school year I write these words into my diary as a reminder of why I come to work every day.
As your chaplain, I am responsible for working with others to ensure that our mission statement, Jesus’ very own words: ‘I have come so that you may have life; life in all its fullness.’ (John 10:10), becomes a lived and evolving reality and that our values of love, inspiration, empowerment and joy are deeply woven into our daily life together at SEACA. I do this in a variety of ways – through collective worship, assemblies, retreats, awareness/fundraising activities; gardening club, supporting the chaplaincy teams and other activities around school.
One of the most important aspects of my job is to listen to you whenever you need me. Life isn't always easy and at different times we all have to face things that are really difficult, so it's important you know that I'm always here if you need to talk things through. You can drop into Chaplaincy any time and I’m always around before school, during break/lunch time and after school too. My door is always open!
To finish, just a little info. about me! Before becoming a chaplain, I taught RE for many years. I find working with young people both a delight and a challenge and, of course, very rewarding. I really take seriously Jesus' invitation to work for peace and justice and over the years have worked with others on a number of projects, among them helping to set up and monitor an agricultural project in East Timor.
My voluntary work is also very important to me. Every Sunday I work with a parish team to provide a hot meal for local vulnerable people.
As your chaplain, I really believe all that Jesus says about having ‘life in all its fullness,’ and hope that, as we journey together through your years at SEACA, we will each make that a reality for one another, and so grow ‘strong in faith’ and maturity together.
We have a pupil led Chaplaincy Group at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Academy. These pupils meet every other week and are active in planning and delivering prayer and liturgy to their peers.
For those pupils who are not part of the Pupil Chaplaincy Group, opportunities are afforded to engage with the Chaplaincy provision across the school, for example through Retreats, Chaplaincy led sessions at key points in the liturgical year, Mass and access to the Chaplaincy room provision before school, at break time and at lunchtimes. This ensures that all pupils are able to access Chaplaincy at SEACA.
A weekly Mass takes place in our Chaplaincy Room. Pupils help prepare the space and actively participate as readers. Breakfast with God also takes place in the Chaplaincy Room every Monday and Friday and again pupils help prepare the space and actively participate as readers.
The invitation to all Year 8 pupils to take the Sacrament of Confirmation is supported by the Chaplaincy provision. For example, the Chaplain has liaised with the RE department to facilitate sacramental preparation sessions during their RE lessons and the Chaplain co-ordinated a full year group session led by Animate Youth Team around the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Gardening Club is run by the chaplain and another staff member to promote care for the environment. A core value of our school inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.