Every year St Richard’s joins the Diocesan primary and secondary schools for the Good Shepherd celebrations. These are usually held in Worth Abbey.
Year 7 Liturgy Reps join other school representatives in the diocese to make for a lively and enjoyable celebration with the addition of banners to make a wonderfully colourful procession. The service ends with a picnic lunch in the grounds of Worth Abbey along with all the other Catholic primary and secondary schools.
Diocesan Secondary Pilgrimage
A group of Liturgy Reps from Year 8-10 represent the school annually at the Diocesan Secondary Pilgrimage in Arundel. This is a wonderful celebration which joins all our Diocesan secondary schools in prayer and worship. We have on a number of occasions taken on roles within this service, including singing, offertory and providing a welcome. This has proved to be a proud moment for our pupils to represent their school in such a beautiful cathedral.
FLAME – Youth Congress
The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) seeks to help shape and support Catholic Youth Ministry in England & Wales. Every two years they hold a congress for all the Catholic youth in the UK in Wembley Arena. The event begins with a number of speakers and worship music and concludes with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. St Richard’s first attended in 2015 alongside Bexhill and Eastbourne Confirmation groups and a group has attended ever since.
The Diocese travels in the last week of July to Lourdes, over 800 pilgrims young and old take part in the pilgrimage.
The Youth Service known as the Redshirts are a key part of the pilgrimage providing a service to the whole pilgrimage including welcoming and marshalling various events and leading music, and various different services within the 10 days in Lourdes. Redshirts are offered to Year 10 and 11 pupils and an assembly is held in advance of the application deadline to offer the opportunity to St Richard’s pupils.The Redshirts are very fortunate, as for four years, Jo (Lay Chaplain) has taken the role of Leader with the Youth Service for the Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and more recently as assistant Chaplain in a Hotel group and has been able to give them support in applying to be a Redshirt or joining the family group.
Bi-annually, a mixed group of Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils set off during the February half term for a week’s pilgrimage to Rome. Over the past 3 trips we have been privileged to have had a member of our clergy join us on this trip. This meant we have been able to have a tour of the English College in Rome, and Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite run by Fr Rory a Pallottine Father, who was once posted in Hastings both were definitely a highlight of the trip. Other highlights of the trip were the Colosseum, Vatican Museum, The Pantheon and the Dome of St Peter’s not to mention the gelato! Rome is truly a beautiful city, steeped in Catholic history and is a highlight of the year.
We regularly book St Vincent’s Retreat Centre in Whitstable for an overnight Retreat opportunity for lower school pupils. See below for the timings of these retreats for each year group. Year 7 Retreat takes place in the Autumn Term and Year 8 and 9 in the Summer Term.
The retreat centre is run by young adults who are part of a gap year programme in the diocese of Southwark. Programmes include large and small group work, discussion, creative arts, prayer, liturgy, Mass, social time and a chance to enjoy the beach. Through peer ministry, friendship, discipleship and community living the aim is to build awareness and confidence by exploring themes relevant to young people and the development of their faith. Central to the ministry of St. Vincent’s is their witness to the Gospel and encountering Christ through the community, Scripture and the Eucharist. You can explore more about them here: http://scys.org.uk/
This is a wonderful weekend with the chance for them to really explore their faith and friendships with young leaders who are experienced in guiding, not to mention a really fun weekend with lots of laughing and the chance to get competitive at bowling! Children are accompanied by the Lay chaplain and one or two other members of staff…if possible their tutors or head of year try to come and witness the pupil’s faith in action.
Mission Week – with Sion Mission Team 2019/2020
On Monday 11th of November 2019 Pupils arrived to find Sion Mission Team had taken over the School hall and our Mission Week was launched with rousing opening assemblies for each year group. The team then visited each classroom in teams of two and explained a bit more about themselves and how they came to join Sion. Each day we had assemblies for each year group which were full of drama, song and reflection and based around themes which looked at our faith Journey.
Each Year group had the opportunity to experience a workshop and these had various themes such as – Mass of the Day (Football themed workshop on the importance of mass), #like a Girl (a workshop for girls only), 3D Gospel (drama-based workshop).
On Tuesday the Team led a session with the Staff ensuring the whole school benefited from the time out and reflection a Mission week brings. On Thursday parents and parishioners were invited in for an evening of thanksgiving and celebration which pupils showcased the talents given to them by God and spoke about what they had experienced during the mission week. Finally, we celebrated the end of the week with a very moving final Liturgy which showcased some of the work done in the Mission Week.
Pupils who helped out with the liturgy, light fever and Prayer4U joined the team for mass in our chapel to close the Mission week on Friday afternoon. A wonderful occasion to really put the Holy Spirit back into our school in a concrete way.
You can find out more about Sion Youth and their many retreats they hold here: http://www.sionyouth.org.uk/