Our Role

The Chaplains are local church leaders who are in school on a rota basis each weekday at lunchtime. We are available to all students and staff (and their families). Our primary purpose is to be "a listener" or a sounding board for them. So we get to share the joys and sorrows which they bring to us. We give advice, where appropriate, based on our own life experience and walk of faith, together with our Biblical knowledge. We often pray with those who come to talk with us.

We get to lead School Assemblies - often to coincide with and highlighting the major Christian festivals. We are also invited to bring a christian perspective into some of the general curriculum subjects including History, English and RE. Some of the team are regularly welcomed into discussion sessions with the 6th Form Students.

One exciting development is that the School Chaplains are currently producing "Good Morning Ellowes" a video two minute 'Thought for the Day' for every day of the school term. This is 'broadcast' into each tutor group at the start of every school day via the school intranet.!

Rev Jemima Strain

Jemima is a Minister in the Methodist Church. She has joined the chaplaincy team in September 2013 and brings a wide experience of youth work with her. With her engaging personality she is already developing strong relationships with the students. Married to Rob - a footballer and golfer - she was a Pilates instructor before training to be a minister.

Bill Caldwell

Bill is "the senior chaplain" - that just means he's been there the longest! It's got nothing to do with his age (honest!). He was one of the first team of chaplains, local church leaders, invited into Ellowes by the then head teacher in 1996. He continues to be excited by the challenges and opportunities which the Chaplaincy presents. Bill is also a school Governor at Ellowes.

Ed McGirr

Known as Pastor Ed - he is the Pastor at St Paul's Church just by the Fiveways roundabout at Lake Street. A Mexican American Ed has worked with young people in many places with 'Youth with a Mission'. He brings his talents to bear on a regular basis in school assemblies. He does some conjuring and puppetry - and cooks a pretty mean breakfast too!

Geoff Donnison

Geoff's listening skills and his wise counsel has enabled him to develop a good rapport with the young people. His straightforward approach and his own family experience enables him to be on "their wavelength". He is much appreciated.

Jeremy Parkes

Jeremy is one of the original chaplaincy team. He and his wife, Joy, lead the Living Hope Church, who meet in the Milking Bank Junior School.
In addition to his involvement with some major school assemblies at Ellowes, Jeremy is often called upon to bring a christian viewpoint into a number of classroom subjects and to the 6th Form as well.

Mark and Wendy Raybould

Mark and Wendy work within Zoar Methodist church and are heavily involved in the church's youth work.
They make a significant link between the church and the school pupils. In addition to their role as chaplains, Wendy and Mark have also been involved in educational support.

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