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Religious life

Our core aims as a Catholic School sit at the heart of school life.

We draw great strength from our Catholic heritage and are proud to offer a Catholic education, which today welcomes young people from all faiths, or none, to experience the values that have made St Edmund’s a successful seat of learning for over 450 years.


The Chaplaincy is central to the spiritual life of the College; in fact, it is involved in so many aspects of College life that it is difficult to know where to start!

The Chaplaincy helps students, both as groups and individuals, to become more aware of and confident in the spiritual aspects of their lives. The John Southworth Chaplaincy is in a newly refurbished space in the Ambulacrum, which is open at break times for any students to seek some ‘down-time’, meet others and to access guidance or support – should they need it.

Students can be actively involved – whether that is running activities during Charity Week, or becoming more formally involved in the Church through confirmation, baptism, ordination or canonisation. Our Chaplaincy Committee involves students from all year groups and meets regularly, to support the religious life of the College. Students don’t have to be Catholic to be a member.


We have a long established tradition of helping those in need, whether through the October Fast Day economy lunch or through a vast array of activities during Charity week.

St Edmund’s adopts a different charity each year and students use talent, humour, ingenuity and business acumen to raise lots of money, whilst having fun and serving their local, national or international community, where there are genuine needs to be met.

Students keen to be more involved in charity work join the Edmund Rich Society which aims to highlight issues of justice and peace, through assemblies, displays and our fairtrade shop.


Through our thriving Community Service Group, students undertake activities ranging from supporting our younger students to visiting the elderly in our local community. Each Christmas we host a wonderful party for 100+ of the elderly in the community. Students in Sixth Form (Rhetoric) have the opportunity to visit India to volunteer in a school, or to travel to Lourdes as part in the Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage.

Prayer and worship

Throughout the week there are many opportunities for prayer at the College either voluntary or as part of tutor, House or year group.


Morning prayers

As a Catholic College, we believe that starting the day with prayer is important. This is done either in tutor groups, house assemblies, Headmaster’s assembly or in Chapel.

Each tutor group has a prayer book and resources to use in prayer time. In house assemblies, students read a prayer from the House Prayer Book which is compiled by students.

Each tutor group takes a turn at delivering Chapel prayers. This involves preparing prayers, reading, putting together a Powerpoint presentation or a drama and choosing the hymn.


Our boarders celebrate Mass every Sunday in the stunning Pugin Chapel and all are welcome to join.

Throughout the year we celebrate Holy Days of obligation and key College feast days. We also pray the rosary in May and October, and the Stations of the Cross in Lent, as well as holding a carol service and a service of Lenten reflection.

The religious themes of the week are linked to the liturgical year. Each student reflects on the weekly themes with their tutor group and through weekly Chapel prayers which are student-led.

Boarders meet each evening to pray together; there is lots of variety, ranging from Compline and Benediction to an excellent student Chapel band. A number of students have also been prepared for reception into the Church.

All students in Year 7 (Elements), Year 8 (Rudiments) and Year 9 (Grammar) have a year Mass every fortnight. Each tutor group takes a turn at preparing the Mass. Students are involved in choosing readings, as servers and those doing the offertory and bidding prayers. Any staff or parents who are free at this time are welcome to attend.

Voluntary Mass

Voluntary Mass is said each morning and on Tuesday lunchtimes.

We also have a voluntary Mass every Friday during Period 7.

We are committed not just to the academic growth of every child, but also to their spiritual development, regardless of their religious background.