Chaplaincy | Somerset College
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Chaplaincy

Somerset College was founded with a strong Christian ethos, which remains central to the life of the College. The College forms an association with the member churches of the Church Unity Commission (CUC), which comprises the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Methodist Church in Southern Africa, the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.

Somerset College was founded with a strong Christian ethos, which remains central to the life of the College. The College forms an association with the member churches of the Church Unity Commission (CUC), which comprises the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Methodist Church in Southern Africa, the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.

In March 2006, the College accepted the Statement of Faith which the CUC churches adopted in 1974:
"We recognise the Holy Scriptures as the supreme rule of faith and life, we share the apostolic faith confessed in the ancient Creeds of the Church and we observe Baptism and Holy Communion as Sacraments of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ."


St Matthew's Chapel lies at the heart of Somerset College, both geographically and spiritually. Although it is widely used for a range of activities, it remains a place of stillness, reflection and prayer. Students and staff from both the Preparatory and Senior schools attend a separate Chapel service on Friday mornings.

The Chaplain sees every Grade 8 and 9 class for a weekly Chaplain's lesson in the Senior school and oversees a fortnightly Bible Education lesson for children in Grades 1 to 7 in the Preparatory school, which is taken by the Assistant Chaplain. A time for Bible teaching and prayer is set aside in the Pre-preparatory school by their teachers.


Both schools have an active Christian group (known as Crossfire in the Senior school), which is supervised by members of staff (although very much student-led in the Senior school), meets on a regular basis and goes on an annual camp. This provides an opportunity for students to explore Christianity and grow in their own faith through the teaching, fellowship, and prayer that is offered. In addition to this, a weekly Bible study is run in the boarding houses by some of the Boarding House Assistants.

Every year, the Chaplain runs the Youth Alpha course in the second and third terms. This is an informal ten-week course designed to explore the claims of the Christian faith and is open to students in Grades 10-12.


Every five years, the College holds a "Christian Focus Week", when a team from Scripture Union Independent Schools (SUIS) is invited to visit every class in both schools and take part in the spiritual activities of the College. The purpose is to give every student the opportunity to explore, or re-examine the claims of the Christian faith.

The most natural way of living out our Christian ethos and expressing the extent of God's love for us is, as Jesus commands us in the Bible, to 'love our neighbour as ourselves' (Mark 12:31). The work of the Social Responsibility Portfolio is a crucial outworking of the Christian ethos of the College, and students are encouraged to get involved, not only to help those who are in need, but also to expose them to the society with which they will be interacting in the future.


Mr Patrick Cordery has been at the College since 2002 and Chaplain since 2005. He is available to students, staff, parents and Old Oaks for spiritual guidance, counselling, prayer and support.

We come before you, O Lord, with praise and thanksgiving, as the day brings us another round of tasks and duties.
We thank you for this College, for the opportunities which we have here, and for the people with whom we work.
Help us to be kind in thought, gentle in word, generous in deed, and always mindful of the needs of others.
Help us to develop the talents which you have given us, and to use them to do your will.
Above all, Lord, we ask your blessing on our work and play here, so that all that we do here may be acceptable to you.
We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

I look up to the mountains - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!

He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

All our hope in God is founded
And in all our work and play
Trusting in his strength and goodness
As we journey on our way,
Lord, may we
Always be
Mindful of your purpose for us.

Let us praise him for His blessing
For the beauty of this place,
For the vineyards and the mountains
For the trees and open space
Lord may we
Always be
Caring of your gifts before us.

Let us show through all our labours
That we listen to his word.
Let us care for all our neighbours
Help each other as we grow
Lord, may we
Always be
True disciples of our Saviour.

We sing of Somerset College
Centre of learning and knowledge,
Set midst mountain and the vine
Blessed with vistas so sublime.
Let us through every endeavour
Serve, live and foster for ever
Values that will make us worthy of our school.

Lord, as we stand here together
May we do your will for ever.
Grant that as we pass through here
We may always witness bear
To lessons taught by our Saviour,
In all our thoughts and behaviour
And create a school which glorifies your name.