From the chaplain
Jesus’ teaching centers around helping people see that God’s purpose for us is to live in love for God and for each other – indeed, these are the two great commandments that sum up “all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40). It is in this relationship that we truly experience God’s gift of life - what Paul refers to as the “promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1).
No price tag can be put on knowing within the depth of one’s being that one is loved by God, regardless of circumstances. Being able to sit in the presence of God, and being reminded of God’s love for us and God’s gift of the Holy Spirit within each of us – this is life indeed.
Revd Claudia Coustas
Bishop's Charge to the JHB Diocesan Synod, September 2017 – click here to view
St Mary’s is an Anglican school. As such, the chaplain is an Anglican priest within the Diocese of Johannesburg and is part of staff, management and executive meetings. The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg appoints a representative to sit on the school Board.
The chapel, placed at the centre of the school, offers peace and serenity for anyone who enters. It is also a place of safety for all in need. Every day, the Angelus is rung in the Junior and Senior Schools, resulting in every girl and teacher taking a moment from her busy life and standing in silence.
Once a week, girls attend a chapel assembly led by the chaplain, where various aspects of the Christian faith are presented. Holy Communion is celebrated three or four times a term. A highlight of the second term is the school’s Patronal Festival, celebrated in The Close with the entire school.
Girls who are turning 16 or older may be prepared for Confirmation within the school community, before they are confirmed at a service held at the school by the Bishop of Johannesburg. Girls may also be baptised and admitted to Holy Communion in the Junior School.
There are special services throughout the year to mark important occasions, such as the matric leaders’ induction, the matric prayer service and valedictory service, a welcome service for Form Is and new pupils in the Senior School, Evening Prayer for the Junior School at the beginning of each year, and a Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day service in the Junior School. The chaplain also visits Little Saints each week for Bible story time. There is a Junior SOCS (Sisters of Christ) group for Grades 4 to 7 that meets on a Monday afternoon from 14h00 to 16h00. Senior girls are also encouraged to form fellowship groups in which they can share their lives with each other and pray for each other.
Where possible, the chaplain and some members of staff meet in the chapel at 06h55 to pray for the school. A Bible study group for parents meets on Wednesday mornings from 08h30 to 09h30.
Whilst St Mary’s is an Anglican School, we welcome staff and girls from all walks of faith.
The Revd Claudia Coustas is the school’s chaplain, and she is available to meet with any girl, parent, or staff member who would like to take a moment to chat or pray.
St Mary's School Prayer
Lord Jesus, Child of Bethlehem, bless our school and all its members, past and present.
Be with us in our worship, in our work and in our play.
Inspire the hearts of those who teach and those who learn.
Train those who rule and those who obey, that all may offer you the perfect service, which is worthy of your love.
Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.