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Chapel

Spirituality and Virtues

Throughout its long and rich history, Christ's College has maintained its foundation in Christian values, encouraging boys to live lives underpinned by honesty, respect, spirituality, justice, compassion and stewardship.

These are timeless values which, once learned, serve each boy well throughout his life. Our Chaplain guides the spiritual life of the school, following the broad ethos of Anglicanism, whilst recognising the multi-denominational nature of our community. College welcomes boys of all religions and cultures.

At the heart of the school stands the Chapel. All boys attend Chapel services on Monday and Friday mornings, congregational singing practice on Wednesdays, and at least two Sunday services throughout the term. Parents and families are warmly welcomed at Sunday services.

Boys are invited to be baptised if they wish, and a Confirmation course is offered to Year 12 and 13 students.

In religious education classes, boys have the opportunity to learn about the great religions of the world, and to reflect on their own beliefs. Knowing about religion, philosophy and ethics is not only valuable to finding meaning in life, but is also essential for a broad education, and foundational for other subjects, from art to English to history.

We aim to help the boys develop a mature understanding of social and cultural differences and to meet the challenges of good citizenship.

Chapel Services

Term 1

Sunday 10 February – Choral Eucharist
Sunday 24 February – Choral Evensong
Sunday 10 March – Choral Evensong
Sunday 24 March – Choral Eucharist

TERM 2

Sunday 5 May – Chapel Service Worship for Easter
Sunday 19 May
Sunday 9 June – Pentecost Sunday
Sunday 23 June

Term 3

Sunday 28 July
Sunday 11 August
Sunday 25 August
Sunday 8 September

Term 4

Sunday 20 October – (compulsory for Years 11–13)
Sunday 24 November – Advent Service (compulsory for Year 9 & 10) 

Chapel Notes 2019

  • 1 April

    Remembering Jesus

    Jesus asks us to remember him using bread and wine  which he calls his body and his blood. This is a way to refer to himself and his life. He gives himself and his life for us and for others. Christians have been very good at remembering Jesus in the Eucharist with bread and wine. Perhaps we have not been so good at remembering Jesus by giving ourselves and our lives for others to remember Jesus.

  • Monday 25 March

    Deserted by friends

    Today we reflected on the experience of being deserted by friends (Jesus in Gethsemane). Friendship and desertion are about being "in" and being "out". In the story of Jesus, those boundaries are: rich/poor; Jew/Gentile; Gentile/Roman; well/sick; Galilean/Judean; powerful/weak - and Jesus crosses all those boundaries. 
    Edwin Markham:
    “He drew a circle that shut me out-
    Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
    But love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle and took him In!”

  • Friday 22 March

    Enfleshed Yearning

    Lent has a strong focus on what we yearn for, including our temptations. Our deepest yearnings are for beauty, truth, goodness, love, peace... When we yearn for, say, water - even when water is not before us - somewhere there is water... This is so with all our yearnings. Christians, Muslims, and others believe that there is One who fulfils our yearning for beauty, truth, goodness, love, peace without limit... We also spent time preparing for the lunchtime time on the Quad, including going over the meaning of the Muslim call to prayer that is broadcast at 1:30pm. Seniors have studied this respectfully. Years 9 & 10 are yet to study Islam.

  • Monday 18 March

    Acknowledging Friday's terrorism

    We acknowledge the tragedy of Friday’s terrorist attack. Friday’s events went against everything that we talk about in Chapel – acceptance of diversity; celebration of difference.

    We focused on the insight articulated by Martin Luther King, Jr, that darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. This leads us to remember the good in people – including the good between us and within each of us, the goodness that Christians and Muslims call God.

    However we name that goodness, this is our only way forward.

    We can care for each other. We can be gentle with ourselves. We can take care when within ourselves we notice fear of people different from ourselves. In a school in which we study Islam with respect, we can take care not to spread ignorance and hatred and fear.

  • Monday 11 March

    Silence

    Using silence positively as a discipline for Lent was the focus this morning - being a human being; not simply a human doing. Suggestions for the silence: Think, Plan, Be grateful, Pray (for self; others; off by heart prayers - slowly), Mantra, Kyrie eleison, Rosary, Word – without concept or emotion (Constantly – or come back to it), Feeling breath – counting 1-10. We concluded by spending a minute in silence together.

  • Monday 4 March

    What is Lent?

    Counting 40 days backwards from Easter (and skipping the Sundays), we get to this Wednesday - "Ash Wednesday".

    It is a period of focused reflection, about what is wrong in our lives, about what we would like to have as the centre, the heart of our lives. There is an increase in prayer and generosity. 

    Lent is a preparing period, a season of preparation – and the church’s colour for preparation is purple. We don't use "Alleluia" and don't have the "Glory to God in the highest..." in the Eucharist. There are normally no flowers. All this is to make the Easter Season more of a contrasting celebration.

  • Friday 1 March

    A disposition to serve

    We focused on the life and approach of Ignatius of Loyola who, after being injured in war, turned from a life of focusing on self to one of focusing on others (and The Other, God). As we serve others, the life of God is lived out in and through us. The prayer which expresses his shift from a self-focused soldier to serving in the name of Christ is:

    Lord, teach me to be generous.
    Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
    to give and not to count the cost,
    to fight and not to heed the wounds,
    to toil and not to seek for rest,
    to labour and not to ask for reward,
    save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

  • Friday 22 February

    Behaving

    We have spoken about Belonging and Believing - the third dimension is Behaving. 

    There are some things we can fake; some things we cannot fake (playing an instrument; jumping over a bar). With such terrible behaviour of so many who say they follow Christ, it surprises me that people continue to follow him. 

    But, with the letter of James today, I hope that the Christ-life, the Christ-behaviour does thrive and flourish – in our acceptance of difference; in our celebration of difference; in our encouraging each other – on the sports field today; in the classroom; on the stage; here in Chapel.

    Having a Christ culture at Christ’s College could make this community a parable of hope in a world of so much hypocrisy, so much strife, so much focus on self. Having a Christ culture at Christ’s College – you can’t fake that.

  • Wednesday 13 Feburary

    Believing

    Believe is an ambiguous word - we need to take care how we use it. I am using it in the sense of trust, commitment, love. We believe in democracy; we believe in the All Blacks. Believing is not contrary to science or history - quite the opposite. Science and history have different ways to establish truth. Believing is different again. We can work out what we believe by looking at what is important to us and asking "why?", "why do I value this?", again and again, deeper and deeper, until we arrive at something and we can go no further.

  • Monday 11 February

    Belonging

    We belong to this community, Christ's College, whether we feel like it or not. And we are called to help each other to have this sense of belonging.

    On Friday, March 15, at 6:45pm (with the choir) there will be a simple service for anyone seeking to be baptised (christened). That is the rite of belonging fully to the church - whatever the denomination. Speak to the Chaplain (or email the Chaplain) to find out more.

  • Sunday 10 February

    Catch People Live

    Sunday's Gospel from Luke uses a rare word for catching people rather than fish - that was Jesus' statement to Simon Peter. Jesus is contrasting the dead and dying fish with catching people to give them life. We join in Jesus' new venture, at the start of this year, to enable healthy spirituality - good news - leading to fullness of life not to death.

  • Friday 8 February

    Christian Foundations to Treaty of Waitangi

    Anglican missionary Thomas Kendall began the work of writing down Te Reo.  In 1820 he and the chiefs Hongi Hika and Waikato visited England to work with Cambridge University linguist Samuel Lee to produce the first Grammar and vocabulary of Te Reo.

    Missionaries here were increasingly concerned about the effect of European immigrants on Māori.  In Britain, Christians such as James Stephen, the brother in law of William Wilberforce, were also concerned that a just way be found for Māori.

    Māori saw and see the Treaty in spiritual and Christian terms. The Te Reo name for the Treaty is ‘Te Kawenata o Waitangi’ (‘the Covenant of Waitangi’).

    Hobson said to each signing chief “He iwi tahi tatou” (“we are one people”). The missionary, Henry Williams, had come up with those words based on the letter to the Ephesians.

    Missionaries with considerable mana with Māori – particularly Henry Williams – took the Treaty throughout the country to be signed. Māori often signed because of the trust they had in the missionaries.

  • Monday 4 February

    Te Kawenata o Waitangi

    Why celebrate the Treaty in Chapel? Because missionaries in Aotearoa increasingly were concerned at the growing number of European immigrants without a legal framework; in Britain, Christian politicians and public servants were conscious of the effects on Māori; the missionaries helped Māori develop a written Te ReoMāori regarded (and regard) the Treaty as a sacred covenant; the participation of the missionaries helped the signing of the Treaty as it travelled the country. This is a faith-inspired agreement that challenges and encourages us to work for justice, celebration of difference, and the keeping of our own promises.

  • Friday 1 February

    Leadership

    We too easily misuse and misunderstand leadership:

    Hierarchy means "holy rule" - which Jesus shows, in words and action, means service rather than bossing and dictating.
    Pontifical means bridge rather than our usual usage: pompous.

    A handful of ideas about leadership:

    1) Believe in something bigger than yourself
    2) Build on what God has given you
    3) Bring out the best in people
    4) Bridge the gaps of difference
    5) Blind your eyes to petty criticism 
    (Bounce back after you are knocked down)

  • Wednesday 30 January

    I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

    The reading from Isaiah is a great encouragement as we start the year: God's love for each person (expressed through the way we relate to each other), and the challenge to grow, to have a growth mindset, to put energy and perseverance into this year. We can change and grow because we are secure and unafraid.
    It's not a bad summary of the Good News that Jesus Christ preached: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

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