Bishop leads service to commission Josh Hunt as Chaplain to Felixstowe Academy with the support of members of the local community...
Felixstowe Academy has became
one of the first secondary education centres in the country ‘without religious
character’ to introduce the role of Chaplain at the start of the academic
year. This role was formally blessed in
a Chaplaincy Commissioning Service by The Right Reverend Dr David Thomson
Acting Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, with the support of staff,
students and Governors from the Academy, along with members of the local
community and local agencies.
Principal Mr Andrew Salter, in
his official welcome to the event said of the role, ‘having that association in
a non-faith school was something that we were pioneering, and it’s growing and
evolving within the Academy community each day’. Mr Salter went on to add ‘Josh does an great
deal of listening - he’s good at listening and giving advice to our own
students and to us. I know there are many staff that would go and talk to Josh
and ask what his opinion is.’
Bishop David in his speech
reinforced the positive impact the role of Chaplain will have in a community,
describing it as a ‘service to others’ and that ‘if we feed love into a
community, love will come out’. Bishop David added ‘it would be impossible to
miss the significance of what is happening here nationally. Chaplaincy is a
growing movement, but this sort of arrangement is indeed pioneering, and I’m
thrilled it’s happening here and on my watch’.
Mr Stephen Chamberlain, Regional
Director for Education at Academies Enterprise Trust said ‘We are exhorted by
government today to ensure that schools are not just examination factories- but
we are here to build character. We are exhorted by Ofsted to ensure that
schools follow fundamental British values. We do that. But the greatest of
these is represented in somebody like Josh, a role model, someone who can
understand, listen and someone who can guide and advise’.
Josh Hunt, 25 years old, has
worked within the AET sponsored academy since September 2014. Born in Suffolk, Josh moved to London to
complete a gap year working with young people in Peckham, before undertaking
three years of youth work training and finally moving back to Felixstowe. ‘I’ve
worked in a number of school communities across London throughout my time in
youth work and ministry; but to be able to move back to Suffolk and contribute
in such a special way to the community of Felixstowe Academy is an honour. Some
days can be challenging, but the opportunity to walk alongside students and
staff and share the journey with them is always rewarding.’
In the role of Academy
Chaplain, Josh has played an important part in Spiritual, Moral, Social and
Cultural (SMSC) projects across all age groups.
Having co-led the launch with Mr Stares, Leader of Learning for Religious Studies, of a series of Key Stage 4 Personal, Social,
Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) events, Josh was instrumental in
delivering a successful ‘Sex and Relationships’ day for Year 10 students which
involved multiple agencies covering topics such as contraception and pregnancy,
HIV, e-Safety, LGBT, pornography as well as discussion topics such as ‘What is
Josh is already working on the
content for our next PSHEE event with Mr Stares - The ‘Global Village’ Conference. The aim of this day will be to help students
to explore their roles and responsibilities as local, national and global
citizens, with the main thrust centring on living in a multi-faith,
multi-cultural and multi age Britain.
In addition to this, Josh has
been involved the running of an after school discussion group, assemblies and
conferences, as well as support during lessons and break times. He is also part of the team organising a
project for the whole student community to take part in a mock ‘General
Election’ at the start of the new term.