Created in 2005 under the guidance of Fr Sebastian Jobbins, the work of the Chaplaincy has continued to grow and develop both at its core in the central building on the school campus and within the Houses. Fr Chad Boulton took on the role of School Chaplain in September 2008.
The Chaplaincy team involves monks, lay staff and students. Each house has its own monk chaplain, as well as a student catechist from the top year. We are also blessed to have an enthusiastic and committed group of lay staff who help with socials and retreats.
The central Chaplaincy exists to encourage the regular formation of the faith of the students, the voluntary participation by students in their faith, the Benedictine spirit of the school among students, staff and parents, the provision of ‘hospitality’ for the first two years of the school and the connection of students with the wider Church and world.
The sacramental life of the school is centred on the Abbey Church. At the Sunday Mass in the Abbey Church, students of different ages enhance the liturgy through serving, reading and singing. In addition each boarding house has its own Chapel and Chaplain and celebrates Mass during the week.
Year 13 students are trained and commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers. The Eucharist also forms the culmination of the different retreats offered to students, sometimes even celebrated outside.
Students are offered the chance to make their confession once a term in the Crypt of the Abbey Church. These Reconciliation services are organised by each house, with the monastery providing confessors, who use the newly glassed in chapels as confessionals. Students who are not Catholic have the opportunity at these services to see a priest for a prayer and blessing.
In each house a senior student is nominated to be a catechist. Catechesis is the action of the church that leads the faithful to maturity of faith. A minister of this sort of activity is called a catechist. Because of varied circumstances and multiple needs, catechetical activity takes on various forms. It means being involved in the spiritual formation of students, and at Ampleforth it means having a special role in preparing people for Confirmation; it’s a role of significant importance. Within the programme of catechesis and preparation for Confirmation the student catechist does most of the catechetical work with the confirmandi in their house. They do this under the direction of the central chaplaincy, being trained at the beginning of the year and preparing each session for an hour each week with the chaplaincy assistant. The house chaplain oversees their work and they support the house chaplain in many ways. They are helped to draw upon their own faith and experiences and they learn how to communicate the mysteries of our faith drawing upon the Bible, tradition, YouCat (the Catholic Church's youth catechism) and other resources.