The Aegies Associates News & Blog Section
A school chaplain has been licensed by the Bishop of Durham to administer to the spiritual life of students and staff at a Stockton on Tees secondary school in a formal service of recognition and authority.
The Reverend Paul Johnson 55 originally from Middlesbrough was licensed as a School Chaplain in a service held at Ian Ramsey Secondary School by the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby.
The service at the School in Greens Lane, Stockton was part of the formalisation of The Revd. Paul Johnson's role as the School Chaplain.
Paul came to the school after previously having been a teacher and training for ordination, which he followed with a spell as a curate in North Yorkshire. He said: “I saw the position advertised, and as it combined teaching and chaplaincy duties in a single post, I felt that it was perfect for me and I applied. I was delighted to be appointed.
“I will spend about 60% of my time teaching Religious Education and the rest of my time on pastoral and chaplaincy work within the school family. This is a dream job and I hope the work I can do here will touch the lives of all I work with and help them also to discover the wonder of God’s love.”
During the service, the Bishop addressed the staff, students, invited clergy and guests talking of the importance of being yourself and understanding that God has a plan for each and everyone of us. Bishop Justin said: “Christian faith is at the heart of what we do and having a chaplain is a way of expressing that here. But more than that, young people in a school environment are more than just learning machines into which you pour knowledge; they have spiritual needs as well. The chaplain is critical in that respect in giving them the wider perspective of what life is all about.”
“The licensing of a Chaplain is crucial part of the way in which the church is able to connect with young people and show them why Jesus Christ is still relevant today. I would encourage more schools or even groups of schools to look at involving a chaplain in this important role; to encourage the development of the whole person.”
Head Teacher Janet Wilson said: “It is an absolute honour and pleasure to have Bishop Justin here today to perform this licensing service and to see what we do here at Ian Ramsey School.” Having Paul with us, even in the short time he has been here has had a considerable impact on the way that we work and what we do and I can only see that growing further still.”