‘For where two or three gather in my name, I am there with them’ Matthew 18:20
Collective worship is part of our daily routine and Catholic ethos.
At the same time, it provides a shared language and set of values, and is integral to the moral and spiritual development of all in our Faith Community. Students and staff alike, are given a ‘space’ in which to reflect, as well as the opportunity to support one another in prayer and to develop their sense of compassion, concern and responsibility for each other as well as the wider community; locally, nationally and globally.
Before the school day all staff gather in prayer, and as such we are rooted in and reminded of our purpose and our vocation.
Each school day either begins or ends with some form of collective worship, whether it is a senior assembly in our beautiful St Anne’s chapel, a whole school assembly in Priory Hall, or Form Prayers in the Form Room.
There is an assembly rota for both the Senior and Prep Departments. Assemblies are led by Staff; principally the Head, the Deputy Head, the RE Teacher, or by students.
It is the responsibility of the Form Leader to create a rota for the Form Prayers.
Students are encouraged to prepare well for both student led assemblies or class prayers and should seek advice from members of staff if required.
Form prayers may begin with the lighting of a candle (possibly reflective music too) to create a sacred space.
As Dominicans, it is customary to end our prayers by asking for the intercession of Our Lady and St Dominic; so we say
Our Lady, Help of Christians; pray for us
Our Holy Father, Saint Dominic; pray for us and give us the right spirit.
In the Seniors, a formal afternoon prayer has been written by member of the Liturgy group.
Afternoon School Prayer
Lord, we come to say,
Thank you for our school, our friends, and our day.
Help us to apologise, forgive and forget,
In the knowledge that tomorrow has no mistakes in it yet.
In my joy, help me to see,
People that are suffering or less fortunate than me.
May we always live with you as our guide
Trusting that you will be at our side.
Written by Philippa and Megan (YR 9)
At the heart of our school is the Mass and we are very privileged to have direct access to the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Dominic as well as the services of Parish Priest Fr .Gerald Doyle. Fr. Doyle says mass for us at the beginning and end of the academic year as well as at the times of important liturgical feasts and Holy Days of Obligation. For some masses we join with staff and students of St Dominic’s Primary school; most of our masses are open to all members of the parish; all of our masses are open to parents, guardians and friends.
We have a small team of willing altar servers who support Father Doyle at each mass, as well as students who regularly take on the responsibility of the offertory and a group of competent youngsters for both the readings and the bidding prayers.
We also have an accomplished choir to support the liturgy and all students and staff are encouraged to join in with the hymns and sung responses.
‘He who sings prays twice.’ St Augustine
All masses are indicated clearly on the school calendar.
Members of our school regularly attend the North Staffordshire Combined Schools’ Mass, held at St Gregory’s, Longton, in October each year.
In addition to the Mass and daily collective worship, we gather as a community to celebrate the Incarnation with our annual Festival of Carols and Readings, and to reflect on Christ’s Passion with our annual Stations of the Cross service.
There is further opportunity for a more youth centred collective worship when students attend the nearby Catholic retreat centre, Alton Castle/Soli House. (Day retreats annually for students in Yr 6 and 7, residential retreats biennially for Yr 9 and 10)