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Catholic Life

"Christ at the Centre"

The experience of Catholic worship for the whole school community is outstanding and clearly central to the life of the school

Section 48 Report


We are a proud Catholic Federation that bases its identity, beliefs and actions upon our Catholic Faith and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Our ethos of providing the best education for all pupils embraces Christ’s own call to love God, love self and love others. We believe our schools offers unique benefits arising out of our Catholicity. We provide a genuine Christian education through which students recognise the dignity of the person and equality of all. We achieve this through establishing a caring community where the uniqueness of each student is acknowledged and their abilities, aptitude and gifts are developed to the full.

Bishop Richard Challoner

Bishop Richard Challoner dedicated his life to the scriptures and the education of the youth in London and was famous for saying “True holiness is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well”.

At Bishop Challoner, we pride ourselves on the breadth of opportunity available, the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom and the motivation that comes from good relationships between staff and students. Each student is equally loved and valued and this is reflected inside and outside of the classroom, with all students encouraged to achieve their potential and have their achievements recognised and praised.

Bishop Challoner Chaplaincy is integral to the spiritual life of the community. It aims to be present in every aspect of Federation life and to constantly remind students of their worthiness and talents. The Federation Chapel, the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy, offers students and staff a quiet place to reflect, pray and meet God. Mass is said regularly onsite and the Holy Rosary is said twice a week.  Throughout the year, we have Federation Masses to mark important events, there are pilgrimages to Lourdes and Rome and also regular retreats for students of all ages.

Retreats and Pilgrimages

Throughout the year our students take part in a programme of retreats, some in London and many at the St Cassians Centre in Kintbury. These retreats provide our students with the chance to pause, reflect and grow closer to God. 

For the past two years our Chaplaincy has also led a Year 10 Pilgrimage to Lourdes in the south of France. During the pilgrimage, students spend a reflective spiritual week learning about the Story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous and when in 1858 the Virgin Mary, mother of God, appeared to her eighteen times. We accompany Christ’s final journey to Calgary with the life-sized Stations of the Cross. The staff and students get reflective points throughout the week within their groups whereby they discuss key themes and learn to support one another.

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Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy

We are very proud of our roots. After arriving in East London, the Sisters of Mercy set about doing God’s work by looking after the poor within their communities. In honour and with our thanks, we dedicated our new Federation Chapel to the Sisters of Mercy who live in the Convent nearby still to this day. Students use the chapel daily, enjoy its peaceful atmosphere and feel invited to spend time in God’s presence.


Bishop Challoner students are growing to be…

Grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day; and generous with their gifts, becoming men and women for others.

Attentive to their experience and to their vocation; and discerning about the choices they make and the effects of those choices.

Compassionate towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate; and loving by their just actions and forgiving words.

Faith-filled in their beliefs and hopeful for the future.

Eloquent and truthful in what they say of themselves, the relations between people, and the world.

Learned, finding God in all things; and wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good.

Curious about everything; and active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.

Intentional in the way they live and use the resources of the earth, guided by conscience; and prophetic in the example they set to others.