At the heart of Gunnersbury is a compassionate community whose values and ethos are founded upon the Catholic Social teaching of love and the values and traditions of the Catholic Church. We strive to educate our pupils within an environment where the Catholic traditions of learning, truth, justice, respect and community are promoted. The Chaplaincy supports this work and inspires pupils to understand that all we do is for the greater glorification of God; it seeks to keep Christ at the centre of the school's life and this is achieved by a variety of experiences and opportunities.
The model of Chaplaincy that Gunnersbury adopts is one of collaboration and collegiality. We have nurtured a strong and supportive team of visiting priests gathered from the parishes of London as well a multitude of different countries such as France, Italy, Ireland, and Eritrea, to support the work of our Chaplain, Mr Misha Koval. Our 6th form Chaplaincy Team is formed of a strong group of students who show great passion and care for the poor. They organise charity events every half term, and take part in Diocese events such as the Aid to the Church in Need Conference for Schools.
Pupils are all invited to attend Mass every Friday at lunch time in the Chapel with visiting priests both local and from around the world. Students are given the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Mass each week. Pupils also attend their Year Group Mass each term at St. John the Evangelist Church, celebrated by the Reverend Gerard Quinn. In addition pupils can visit the Chapel every morning for prayers led by class appointed Liturgical Leaders. The Gunnersbury Faith in Action Timetable below is posted in every classroom so that students are always reminded of each event throughout the week. Mr Koval posts a weekly Chaplaincy Newsletter that includes Faith In Action information, morning worship schedules, upcoming assemblies and visiting speakers, scripture reflections, charity events, and details about our weekly Mass.
Mr Koval organises a weekly Spiritual Art club available to Year 7 and 8 students during lunch. Our artwork this year is inspired heavily by the proclaimed Year of the Eucharist. No previous skills are required to join the club. The intention of this club is to be a spiritual time dedicated to expressing oneself through various mediums of art. The work is displayed proudly around the school. Mr Koval also organises different types of morning worship depending on the liturgical season.
Pupils are fully involved in the planning of Mass and collective acts of worship by organising readers, singers and musicians as well as servers. Daily prayers in tutor groups and in Religious Education lessons are linked to the Church calendar. The pupils are taught a variety of prayers to use during their morning worship such as the Lectio Divina, The Examination of Conscience, Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer and many more. Each room has a display featuring the termly theme, our charity focus, a picture to meditate on while in prayer, and a booklet of class-written prayers to use at their discretion. Each class has two designated Liturgy Leaders to lead the morning worship each day. There are also daily collective acts of worship lead by students and teachers that follow a liturgical theme. Students are also involved in the organisation of Advent and Lenten services, Reconciliation, feast day Masses, retreats and a variety of school trips including a tri-yearly trip to Wintershall in Guilford. At Wintershall, our students are given the opportunity to experience live reenactments of The Passion and The Life of Christ.
'The provision for prayer life, liturgy and collective worship is outstanding'
(Diocese Section 48 Inspection 2019)