The School has a Christian foundation as set out by our founder, William Jones, Haberdasher. The community today is welcoming to those of all religious backgrounds, or none, and the spiritual life of the School is supported by our Chaplain. Below is a description of what is offered to girls, both boarding and day.
The Chaplaincy helps girls to understand the Christian spiritual roots of our school and society, and to own the Christian faith for themselves if they choose to do so. This is expressed formally in weekly assemblies, or in special services such as Lessons & Carols at Christmas or an annual service of Confirmation; and in less formal ways in which girls may explore what they believe, and think critically about their own and others’ beliefs.
A description of Jesus in his school age years is given in Luke’s Gospel: “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40). That verse speaks of growing not only physically and intellectually, but also finding wisdom and spiritual growth. Monmouth School for Girls is a school that believes in educating the ‘whole person’. We seek not only academic excellence, but well rounded young people who know what it means to love both God and her neighbour. The aim is to assist in the formation of well grounded, humble and confident young women.
Boarding girls who have needs for other religious observance (for instance, Roman Catholic Mass or marking important Jewish or Muslim holidays) will be supported in this by the Chaplain and their Houseparents. Any girl is welcome to receive pastoral support on any matter.
If you would like to be in touch, you may email the Revd Clifford Swartz on firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is an annual service of Confirmation in the early part of the Summer term, following preparation in the Lent term. Confirmation is the opportunity for girls to confirm the statements made on their behalf at Baptism, to indicate that they believe these for themselves. Confirmation is appropriate for senior school girls (in any year) who wish to undertake preparation, which concludes with a day retreat in the beginning of the Summer term. Please contact the Chaplain to indicate interest for your daughter, or she may speak to him directly.
A variety of voluntary Christian activity is offered at the School, including occasional Communion services and the Sedgwick Society. The Sedgwick Society is named after Richard Sedgwick, the minister of the church attended by William Jones, our Founder. Sedgwick inspired William Jones to found our Schools and became the first Lecturer. Informal discussions on a passage of the Bible are offered according to age bands as follows: Junior (Years 7 & 8) and Mids (Years 9, 10, 11) as regular lunchtime clubs, and a less frequent Sixth Form society organised jointly with Monmouth School for Boys after school. There are resources outside the school that parents may wish to know about, not endorsed by Monmouth School for Girls, but noting that girls have enjoyed these experiences over the years. These include weeklong Christian adventure holidays offered by Gloddaeth Holidays (www.glod.co.uk) in the summer vacation, which serve as a Duke of Edinburgh residential programme for those pursuing this qualification. Christians in Sport offer similar programmes with a sporting emphasis. Forces’ families may also be interested in an Easter residential through the Armed Forces Christian Union.
Boarding girls attend services on alternate Sundays at Monmouth School for Boys Chapel. These offer services of Morning Prayer and Holy Communion, with girls gathering with House staff for a range of informal and more formal worship. The Chaplain regularly visits boarding houses, often with his family’s friendly golden retriever, and nearly always with his wife’s home baking. While boarding houseparents and other residential staff are the primary providers of pastoral care, the Chaplain is available to provide support and encouragement to boarding girls across the range of years.
There are a range of special services to mark thanks to God, and to praise Him, for all the benefits we enjoy in our school and our lives. These include the annual St Catherine’s Day service in late November, a service of Lessons & Carols to end the term in December, and other important moments in the course of the year.