WITHIN THE GENERAL 6th form Religious Education programme at St Gregory's School, we have established a tradition of service in the local community.
This programme is entitled "Hands of Christ", and is based on the prayer of St Teresa of Avila whereby the actions and deeds of our young people at the service of others constitute the physical presence of Christ on earth today. A continuation of his ministry is realised through a range of placements which students can choose from.
What sort of work is done?
Recent placements have included: • Work with the homeless through local voluntary body Cricklewood Homeless Concern.
• Work in Special schools at Grove Park Special School, Kingsbury.
• Work with the elderly at Manor Lodge Residential Home.
• Work with parishes through SVP groups and particular parish ministries.
• Work with primary schools at the following: St Bernadette's, Kenton, Middlesex.
St Margaret Clitherow, Neasdon.
St Robert Southwell, Kingsbury.
St Joseph's, Wembley.
• Work at Nurseries at the following:
Anglican Church of the Virgin Mary playgroup, Kenton.
Lady house Nursery, Kingsbury.
• Work with the terminally ill at St Luke's Hospice, Harrow.
• Work with Senior Citizen's at Kenton Methodist Hall.
• Work with our own school community e.g. office based administration.
• Adopt a pupil reading scheme aimed to enhance the reading levels of younger pupils.
The placements would consist of a minimum of one hour per week. In fact, some students have extended this of their own volition.
How has it been of benefit?
Through this particular role within a modular RE programme, students become a living faith community performing the role of "servant" to local people and fulfilling the gospel imperative of Matthew 25, whereby our practical witness to those around us is a concrete response to the living Lord.
So what to the students at St Gregory's themselves think about it?
"It brings an extra dimension to your perception of life and is a fulfilling experience. It is one rooted in prayer and a living faith. Through continued prayer we hope it will enrich further the lives of those involved." (C. Munasinha)
"A seasoned veteran of community sports leadership stated that it gives you a positive sense of being able to do something for your community and local area." (G. Magwood)
"It was challenging, but gives a unique insight into the caring professions." (S Ndirike) Mary-Ann Barrett is on the RE staff at St Gregory's, Kenton, north London.