There has been a Chaplain supporting this school since it began. His role is twofold: overseeing the religious and spiritual life of the school and also providing pastoral support.
Pastorally, the Chaplain is available for all students and staff, from all faiths and none, as a listening ear, a sounding board and a support. From a spiritual and religious point of view, the Chaplain plays a part in ensuring the holistic education here: that in an academic school of scholarly brilliance we remember that education is about the formation of the whole person.
Reflecting the ‘fides’ in the School motto ‘Fides et Literis’, the Fourth and Fifth Forms meet for Chapel every week and there is a ‘Chaplain’s assembly’ for the other year groups each half term. The aim is to have presented a topic in a respectful way (recognising the diversity of pupils present) which invites the pupils to take time and space to ponder big things of life.
The weekly Jewish assembly is popular, as is the weekly Christian Union. The prayer room is regularly used by Muslim students and staff. There is also a weekly Eucharist, half-termly Parents’ Prayer Group, half-termly Roman Catholic Mass, and the Chaplain prepares Anglican students for Confirmation in St Paul’s Cathedral each year.
Current Chaplaincy Team
Our present Chaplain, the Rev’d Matthew Knox, brings a rich life-experience, including as a qualified physics teacher, a parish priest, Chaplain to a Premiership rugby side, and now as half-time Chaplain at St Paul’s Girls’ School. His hope is to use these external perspectives to help students here be prepared for a world outside St Paul’s, and to live well within it.
Rev’d Knox also leads the Chaplaincy team in St Paul’s Juniors where Mr Young and Mr Bailey are lay chaplains. In St Paul’s Juniors there is a weekly Colet Club and termly services.
The new Chapel, with furniture produced by the renowned Old Pauline, Luke Hughes, is due to open in the academic year 2019-20. This will host various religious services, but also will be a quiet space for all students and staff to be still, to contemplate and to quietly pray if they so desire.