Epping St. John’s School is a Church of England school. To that end the Chaplaincy team take very seriously our commitment to ensuring that Christianity and the teachings of Christ are at the heart of every area of school life. Our main goals are to demonstrate the love that Jesus showed to all people and provide opportunities for students and staff to reflect on their own spirituality.
In 2018 we worked with years 7 and 8 to determine exactly what they thought being part of a Christian community meant. Narrowing down their initial responses students came up with six key Christian values that they believed represented the work we do at Epping St. John’s. These core Christian values are:
1.Generosity - Generosity allows us to give to others because God has given abundantly to us. ‘Remembering the words the LORD Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Acts 20:35.
2.Courage – Courage allows us to face our fears and to stand up for what is right. Be strong and courageous. ‘Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ Deuteronomy 31:6
3.Thankfulness – Thankfulness helps us to show appreciation for all that God has given to us. ‘All things come from you and of your own do we give you.’ 1 Chronicles 29:12
4. Justice – Justice reminds us to stand up for those who have not been shown equality or fair treatment. ‘What does the lord require of you? To do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:9
5. Friendship – Friendship reminds us to show love and kindness to all members of God’s creation. ‘I no longer call you servants’, said Jesus.......... ‘Instead I have called you friends.’ John 15:15
6.Forgiveness – Forgiveness reminds us that we all make mistakes and need an opportunity to learn from these and move on with our lives. It also reminds us that revenge and hatred cause more problems than solutions. If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you. Mark 11:25
These six core Christian values are the driving force behind our assembly programme with one session a half term specifically dedicated to a value and the others making links to the values where possible. The vast majority of assemblies are specifically Christian and an increasing number of these acts of Christian worship focus on our distinct Anglican background. The Chaplaincy Team are involved in delivering at least one assembly a term, more if available, and are consulted in the development of the programme itself.
As well as the weekly assembly the Chaplaincy Team have been instrumental in devising a thought for the day to allow students a daily act of reflection. These nuggets are often verses from the Bible, Church teachings or are the words of inspirational Christian figures. Where this is not the case the thoughts for the day reflect the outlook of some of the other religious traditions found in our local and school communities. This allows students to learn about and from other viewpoints as well as making connections between all peoples of faith.
Epping St. Johns has very close ties with our local Christian church, in particular St. John the Baptist Church in Epping. The Chaplaincy team are seeking new ways to develop the links between church and school so that the local community can be kept up to date with the fabulous opportunities being offered at the school and so that the students at school can start to see the Church as more than a building that is just used for worship on a Sunday.
As a Chaplaincy team we run a variety of events throughout the year that are focussed primarily on what being a Christian in today’s world involves and how Christians share their faith. These events include:
- Year 7 Carol Service.
- Year 8 Reflections on Faith day at St. John’s Church.
- Year 9 Fair Trade Games.
- Delivery of Assemblies.
- Red Balloon lunch time Christian club.
- Involvement in the school's enrichment week programme.
In addition member of the Chaplaincy team are involved in advising, reviewing and monitoring how the school honours it commitment to the core values of Church of England education. They support the school in preparing their DFEs Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) and on acting on the outcomes of the inspection.