‘In prayer, God keeps calling us, opening our hearts to charity.’ Pope Francis
At St Anthony’s we are inspired by Pope Francis’ words that prayer is an answer to God’s call, as a way of opening the hearts of the St Anthony’s community. We do this each day in the following ways:
‘Reflection and prayer plays a big part in lessons and quiet times of the day. Children are encouraged to include family members or friends that they may be worried about into their daily classroom prayers’ – Parent Voice
The children are encouraged to go to a place of reflection as and when they choose. We have many different places for the children throughout our school. These can be seen below.
Masses are celebrated either at Holy Rood Church or in school. This is the opportunity for our school community to come together as one body.
Collective Worship takes place every day, either as a Key Stage or as a class. Children are invited to lead acts of worship with the support of the class teacher.
We have a chaplaincy team who are timetabled to lead prayer for other classes.
On Wednesday 20th September 2023, we were very lucky to have Bishop Paul come and celebrate Mass with us and then bless our new chapel.
The children thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Mass and then asking Bishop Paul questions as he visited other classes. It was a very special day for St Anthony’s.
We have also been very lucky to have a beautiful new cross created by Anton Cataldo who is a parishioner of Holy Rood, who hand painted the beautiful art for our Chapel. He was with us to celebrate our special day with us.
In February 2023 we took the decision to relocate our school chapel to the room that was previously our library. The new chapel was opened in time for the beginning of Lent.
The larger room allows the children and staff the space to sit quietly in prayer and reflection at different times of their week.
There is a special prayer corner where children can safely “light” an electronic devotion candle. They can, if they wish, write a prayer and place it into a prayer box.
Gregorian chant music is played quietly throughout the day to help remind people that they are in a place of sanctuary and prayer.
We have also hung our special quilt that was made by parents, children and staff of St. Anthony’s in 1999/2000 to celebrate the new millennium.
On a weekly basis we hold prayer groups where children are able to pray together and reflect on passages from scripture or say traditional prayers like the Rosary.
Classes are also timetabled to visit the chapel at least once a week for their Acts of Worship.
We know how much people need to have the time and space for reflection and prayer in their day and we are so pleased that the children are making use of the chapel in such a respectful way.
Located beside our prayer garden, we think our new chapel will be an intrinsic part of the children’s prayer life and wellbeing.
Parents and families have been invited in to see our new chapel during our open evening.
Each week we offer the children and staff the chance to be part of our prayer group in the chapel and this is led by Fr. Alex.
They might reflect on a passage of scripture or say more traditional prayers like the Rosary. This is their opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer during a busy week.
As part of our school day at midday all children will all say a prayer. These prayers have been chosen to reflect the time within the Liturgical calendar and some have been written by the children themselves.