Christ at the Centre
Prayer and Worship in a Catholic school is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship with Him, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit. It is an integral part of the life of the Catholic school, putting Christ at the centre of education, helping to create and sustain the Catholic ethos, making it tangible.
It is a Legal Requirement
The legal requirement (Section 70 of the 1998 Education Act) is that ‘subject to the parental right of exclusion or other special arrangement each pupil in attendance at a school shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship. This can take place at any time during the school day and can be either a single act of worship for all pupils, or separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups.
Simply holding an assembly that includes a prayer said either by the teacher or everyone present does not fulfil this requirement. However, in a Catholic school it is more than just a legal requirement. It is an integral part of school life, which contributes to its distinctiveness.