The Campion School community is strongly rooted in its Catholic faith. Our work, community and vision for education are inspired by our belief in God – Father, Son and Spirit – and in our Church which brings Christ into the world today.
Our School Chaplaincy aims to:
While we aim to open all parts of our school life to God, particular moments offer spiritual development for our staff and students. We believe prayer takes many shapes and forms but that it is a vital part of the Christian life and in the growth and development of all members of our community – helping them to become the people who God has made them to be.
We gather as a whole-school community to celebrate Mass at least three times per academic year – at the opening and close of our school year and on the Feast Day of Edmund Campion. These Masses are animated and made beautiful by our outstanding student choir, the Schola Cantorum.
We have liturgies to mark significant moments of the liturgical year, including Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter and Holy Days of Obligation. Assemblies take place several times a week and are often centred on a piece of scripture. Students in the main school also take part in Services of Reconciliation during Lent, with baptised Catholics also being offered the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a priest.
Every student in the main school also has the opportunity to go on retreat at some point each year. Retreats are an opportunity for us to step out of our ordinary lives to rest, reflect and grow closer to God. We take students to beautiful retreat locations such as Walsingham House at Abbotswick, Aylesford Priory and St Cassian’s Centre in Kintbury.
Edmund Campion is one of the great martyrs of the Catholic Church and a witness to a steadfast and enduring faith. He was a man of great intellect, with a cheerful and friendly nature. Edmund lived in the time of the Christian reformation, when religion was a source of political upheaval and division in British society.
Like all of us at various moments in our teenage years, Edmund was faced with a choice. A path was being laid for him by others, a path to status, riches and power. But his heart was taking him down a different path – which he considered the path of truth. Edmund had to choose between the establishment and its Protestant religion, the path of safety and personal glory, or the path which would lead to oppression and even death – by becoming a Roman Catholic.
After a time of great personal turmoil, Edmund chose to convert to Catholicism and flee England. He joined the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1578. He taught in a Jesuit school in Prague for a few years, before being sent back to England to minister to the repressed and hidden Catholics.
Early in his mission in England, Edmund wrote a letter explaining what he hoped to achieve. This letter was published and became known as “Campion’s Brag.” Far from being an arrogant ‘brag,’ Edmund was trying to make space for a conversation, for dialogue. He wanted Christians to be able to live together, at peace.
The most commonly quoted line from Campion’s brag is this:
"The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: so it must be restored."
When we ask St Edmund Campion to pray for us as a school community, we are asking the graces that God gave him – of courage, wisdom and faith, to be given to us too.