As a Catholic school, St John’s Beaumont believes that we each have a spiritual dimension, as well as our physical, intellectual, emotional and social selves. As a school community we seek to help pupils to become more aware of their spirit and to grow in their spiritual lives whatever religious background they may or may not have.
Each year, boys from Lower Elements (Y4) to Rudiments (Y8) have a Retreat Day when they are able to reflect on their own lives and values, on their developing understanding of the world and its needs, and on their relationship with God and response to Jesus Christ. Retreats are a key part of the school’s Jesuit tradition.
Prayers, suited to the age and understanding of the boys, are said each day at assembly, in class, and before RE lessons. A brief prayerful review of the day is done by the boarders just before they go to bed. And there is a formal sung Night Prayer in chapel at the end of the week for senior boys.
Mass is celebrated each Sunday for the boarding community and school Masses are celebrated to mark the great seasons and major feast days of the Church’s year. Every other week, boys in middle and upper schools will celebrate the Eucharist together in the school chapel.
Boys have many opportunities to be involved in the liturgical and prayer life of the school as readers, altar servers, sacristans, by bringing up the offerings of bread and wine at Mass, and by singing in the Chapel Choir. As well as supporting our own worship, the Chapel Choir regularly visits other places to sing.
There is a First Sacraments programme at St John’s Beaumont which prepares Catholic boys for first confession and first holy communion.
Religious Studies is an important part of the academic curriculum and boys learn about the Christian story and Catholic life, and are prepared for Common Entrance religious studies. We celebrate the diversity of beliefs among our pupils and families and boys are often invited to share their own religious traditions, and the questions they have about religious faith.
Learning to be a reflective person, attentive to one’s daily experience, is an important part of the Jesuit spiritual tradition and is built in to each day in the practice of the Examen – a moment to stop and take stock in a busy school day.
There is a Jesuit priest chaplain resident at St John’s and a lay chaplain leads staff in providing a varied chaplaincy programme for boys of all ages. St John’s has a fine chapel where staff and boys can always find a place to pray or just sit quietly.