It's tempting in the sophistication of the 21st century to think that somehow spirituality is somewhat passe.
Lord Wandsworth College has decided to maintain the role of chaplain and is proud to promote spiritual wellbeing alongside the rest of our pastoral and mental health support for the young people in our care.
Spiritual care at LWC can be summed up with three simple pictures:
Windows: spirituality offers young people windows through which to view the world. We give young people lots of opportunities to examine the world around them, both within and without the immediate LWC community. Young people can observe and experience lives, behaviours and practices quite different from their own. Spirituality encourages them to assess those things they like and dislike and why they react the way they do.
Mirrors enable young people to then reflect on what they've seen and decide what they can learn about themselves. Why did I react in the way I did? Does my behaviour match the good I see? Are there aspects of my behaviour that reflect the bad? What can I do to change myself or the world around me?
Finally, spirituality should offer young people doors. Seeing the world and reflecting on it is only of any use if we then have the opportunity to actually do something. At LWC we want to offer young people the opportunities to be world changers, to actively step out and do something to change their community and then by definition to be changed themselves.
If spirituality at LWC had to be assumed up in just one event it would almost certainly be... our Santa Dash (the assemblies are great, and Chapel is lovely, but the Santa Dash is the real winner!)
Our Santa Dash achieves three key things:
It makes people smile. Spirituality doesn't always make people happy, but it should always bring peace and a sense of joy.
It's healthy. Most obviously physically, but it had many of the elements of good mental health also.
It builds community. By working together to achieve a goal we become a stronger community.
There are plenty of more traditional routes to spirituality at LWC, through assemblies, a weekly Chapel service and a chaplain who is available to pray, listen and advise, but our hope is that spirituality is shot through all aspects of our life together at Lord Wandsworth.