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Category Archives: Chaplaincy

Category : Chaplaincy , House Teams , News


On Thursday 25th November 2021 students took part in our annual House Advent Wreath Making Competition.

Back for its sixth successive year, the popular competition gives five groups of students, one from each house, the chance to get creative as they roll up their sleeves and dive into the task of creating an Advent Wreath in just forty-five minutes. It is not just bragging rights at stake, they are all chasing that winning top spot and bagging the maximum amount of points for their house.

House points are awarded throughout the year for various competitions, events and for core school achievements such as Attendance. You can read more about House Points, how they are awarded and the current totals here.

After 45 minutes of cutting, shaping, snipping and glitter flying everywhere, our five wreaths were complete and ready to be scored by our team of judges.


In first place were the team from St. Thomas More house, a complete reversal on last years fifth place finish.


Last year's winners, St. Margaret Clitherow where ranked 'a close second' by the judges in this years competition.


The team representing Anne Line finished in third matching the result of 12 months ago.


Only two students took part for the team from St. John Boste.  There may have been a shortage of hands, however, no shortage of talent.


In fifth place came the team from Blessed John Ingram. Their effort taking one point for their house.

Mr Dunn, who is an integral part of our judging panel, addressed the students and praised their efforts saying 'this was one of the highest standards of competition he's ever seen.'

The finished wreaths will be used in various places in school across the Advent period with the winning wreath taking pride of place in the Chapel where it will be lit during prayers.

Well done to everyone who took part, it was a fantastic competition.  Special thank you to locla business Fruitboy who donated the oasis block cricles and to Mrs Leslie & Mrs Corcoran's family who donated greenery.

Head over to our Gallery for a selection of pictures from the event.

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I have great pleasure in announcing that The English Martyrs Chaplaincy Department invite your son/daughter to the Year 9 and 10 Retreat at The Emmaus Youth Village, departing 13th October and returning on the 15th October.

The cost of the trip is £65.00 which includes full board accommodation, transport and insurance.

If your son/daughter receives Pupil Premium assistance, the cost will be £50.00.

There are 90 places available and will be offered on a first come first served basis. There will be a reserve list.  

All payments are to be paid through the Parent Pay system. You can log into Parent Pay at www.parentpay.com using your unique login and password. If you have any problems with Parent Pay, please contact our Finance Team at finance@ems.bhcet.org.uk for help.

Reservation of a place on this trip is dependent upon the continued good behaviour and attitude of your child. Due to the nature of the trip and safety regulations, only students who can be trusted to behave impeccably will be allowed to go.

If you wish your child to be considered, please complete the below form before Friday 1st October 2021.  A Non-refundable deposit of £30.00 will be required to secure your place at the time of booking and is to be paid via the Parent Pay system. The final payment must be made before Wednesday 13th October.

Click here to complete the form

A clear payment schedule will be issued with manageable payments if necessary. If your child is successful in gaining a place, but then has to withdraw, any money paid can only be returned if this is due to exceptional circumstances or his/her place is filled by another student.

Please see school’s website for details of our full Charging & Remissions Policy.

Should you require any further information please contact Mrs McKenna (School Chaplain)

Yours sincerely

A. McKenna
School Chaplain

The confirmation preparation process is starting in the new year for anyone in Year 8, Year 9 and above.

You’ll join a group of other people your age to discuss and question what faith means and who God is to you? This isn’t just for people certain of what they believe; it’s for you too!

We are still confirming details of how and where we can meet in person in a COVID secure way. Sign up here to register your interest. 

Our process starts with Alpha. Alpha is not just for people certain they want to be confirmed, it’s for anyone who has questions.
In your small groups, you can be as honest as you like about what you do or don’t believe or what you disagree with about religion. 
It’s an open space to explore the meaning of life with friends.

Watch the video below for a taste of Alpha.


Category : Chaplaincy , News

YMT & Students

Ditch your uniform for the day was the message to staff and students of The English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College as they invited everyone to don their own clothes for the day to raise money for the Youth Ministry Team.

The optional day, held on Friday 7th May, saw the majority of staff and students pay the suggested donation of £1 to have a day in their own clothes, raising a total of £1250 for the local charity.

Established in 1993, the Youth Ministry Team (YMT) have been helping young people from across the North East discover their own unique value and reach their full potential by communicating the Gospel using various creative methods.

In 2010, their home, the Emmaus Youth Village, which offers state of the art facilities and accommodation to support the holistic development of young people was opened in Consett by local celebrity duo Ant & Dec.

Anne Marie McKenna, Chaplain of the large secondary school and sixth form college based in Hartlepool said: “We have a long-standing tradition of working with and supporting our Diocesan Youth Ministry Team.“

“We are delighted to have been able to have a non-uniform day to help YMT and the re-opening of the Youth Village following the pandemic.”

“We very much look forward to being able to take students back up to the Youth Village soon and welcome YMT back into our school community.”

Retreats at the fantastic facility for students and staff are a regular occurrence each academic year at EMS, a part of school life which has been really missed during the past 18 months.

Tony Lawless, Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese, welcomed the donation: “On behalf of all at YMT, we would like to thank English Martyrs for their fantastic fundraising efforts”

Alongside the main staff, gap year team members join annually and volunteer to give up a year of their time in service to the Church and the young people of our Diocese.

Hannah Bartlett, one of this year’s gap team members said: “YMT provides so many amazing opportunities to young people throughout the Diocese and fundraising efforts play a huge part in allowing this to happen.”

“It is a privilege to work alongside such supportive school communities and we can’t thank everyone at English Martyrs enough.”

If you would like to support YMT, please text YOUTH (+amount) to 70500. All donations will go to supporting the young people of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

Category : Chaplaincy , News

We will be holding a charity Non-Uniform day on Friday 7th May to raise money for the Youth Mission Team and the Youth Village, a place we visit regularly in a normal school year. 

They, like so many others, have been hit hard by the pandemic so we want to raise as much money as possible for them so we can make sure this fabulous resource is around for many more years to come. 

Here’s a little video from the guys and a rather famous celebrity duo. 

The rules of the day are simple: 

  • Students can pay a donation of £1 (you are welcome to donate more if you wish) to attend school wearing non-uniform.   
  • As students enter the building, staff will be on hand with sealed buckets to collect money.  We will not be able to give change, so please make sure students come to school with the correct donation. 
  • Students do not have to take part, however, if they don’t they must attend school in Full Uniform
  • Although this is a non-uniform day, clothing should still be appropriate for school. 

The following week, we will get a total and share it with you.  Let’s try and smash Christmas Jumper Day’s total of £1300. 

We thank you all for your support and generosity in previous years and the coming event. 

Category : Chaplaincy , News

Back in September 2019, Ebba Terry, a Year 13 student at EMS6, signed up for the annual Pope John Paul II Award.

The award, which is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, challenges young people to complete a number of hours in a faith based setting, either being involved with their parish or raising social awareness in the community.

Depending on how many hours you complete, there are three tiers of success; Bronze, Silver or Gold.

In a normal year, there are many opportunities to get involved and rack up the time, however, this past year has been like no other.  With periods of lockdown, churches closed and no parish events, the task was incredibly difficult, however, this didn’t stop Ebba striving for success and achieving a silver award.

During the pandemic, Ebba helped out in school in the form of pre-recorded prayers, CAFOD projects and anything else that arose that she could get involved with such as aiding with the delivery of ashes in Ash Wednesday services (pictured in this article). In her own time, she spent many hours volunteering in the Alice House Hospice Charity Shop, her unwavering commitment to the charity helping to rack up many hours raising social awareness.

In Ebba’s own words, which she wrote in her final presentation, she said:

“My time working there has provided me with valuable life skills and has given me the opportunity to give back to the community. Furthermore, the Alice House Hospice cares for those who are terminally ill and those who are soon to pass on. Being part of this amazing charity, and helping them to raise money, so that they can make people comfortable in their last days, has helped me to also develop spiritually through the act of trying make the world a slightly better place.”

Huge congratulations to Ebba who has shown true grit and determination to persevere with the award and succeed, despite the hurdles that were put in front of her.

We wish her well in all she does to make the world a better place. We have no doubt that she will.

Category : Chaplaincy , House Teams , News


On Tuesday 30th November 2020 students took part in our annual House Advent Wreath Making Competition.

Back for its fifth successive year, the popular competition gives five groups of students, one from each house, the chance to get creative as they roll up their sleeves and dive into the task of creating an Advent Wreath in just forty-five minutes. It is not just bragging rights at stake, they are all chasing that winning top spot and bagging the maximum amount of points for their house.

In a normal year, this would be a mixture of students from various year groups in each house team, however, with the ongoing pandemic we have had to change it up a little.  To keep students safe, only Year 10 students took part this year as they are in a bubble.

House points are awarded throughout the year for various competitions, events and for core school achievements such as Attendance. You can read more about House Points, how they are awarded and the current totals here.

After 45 minutes of cutting, shaping, snipping and glitter flying everywhere, our five wreaths were complete and ready to be scored by our team of judges.  The five finished wreaths are below….Who is your winner?  Results below!


After a lengthy adjudication, it was time to announce the results.

In this year’s competition St. Margaret Clitherow took the top spot, improving on their third place finish in last years competition.

Two-time competition winners St. John Boste could only match their performance of 2019 taking second place.

St. Anne Line, who won the competition last year, came in third, overall points leaders Blessed John Ingram took fourth with St. Thomas More’s entry finishing fifth.

Again, in a normal year, the finished wreaths would be displayed in various locations around the school and lit in assemblies, however, we are not having assemblies at present so the finished wreaths were taken home by staff.

Well done to everyone who took part. The wreaths this year are some of the best we have ever had over the years and any of them could have been worthy winners in previous years.

Head over to our Gallery for a selection of pictures from the event.

Category : Chaplaincy , News

The English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College have filled over 80 Christmas shoeboxes for Christmas.

The shoebox appeal, led by Matthew Hutchinson, a member of support staff at EMS, ran across the first half term of the new school year.

Working with the charity ‘Link to Hope’, the aim was to get the shoeboxes to the poorest areas of Europe in time for Christmas – a task made much harder with the ongoing pandemic.

A total of 84 boxes were filled with books, toiletries, hot water bottles, teddies and much more.

“After such a successful campaign last year, I decided to run the appeal again this year.” Matthew told us.

“With the lock down and restrictions it has made everything more difficult and I can’t believe the amount of boxes we collected.”

The shoeboxes have been collected by the charity and will now be on the way to brighten the lives of so many this Christmas.

“I would like to thank all of the students, parents and staff who supported the appeal this year and a special thanks to Luke and Hollie, for their help on collection morning” Matthew said.

“I would especially like to thank Mary Frain, Headteacher of St. Teresa’s Primary and her students for their contribution again this year.”

“Let’s all hope and pray that by Christmas 2021 we will be all back to normal, with the shoebox appeal ready to go again!”.

Category : Chaplaincy , House Teams , News

Everyone knows we are called the English Martyrs School – but do you actually know who the English Martyrs were or what they did? Well, this article will help!

To begin the story, we need to take a jump back to 16th Century England and catch up with King Henry VIII – That’s correct, the one who had six wives.

Shortly after marrying his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, he requested the marriage to be annulled from Pope Clement VII. Getting the marriage annulled would declare it null and void, almost like it never happened.

The Pope denied the request. Infuriated by the Pope’s disagreement, the King started a series of events that would later be known as The English Reformation.

The Church of England was separated from The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, he appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries.

After the Reformation, a violent wave of anti-Catholic persecution began – and lasted over a century. It started with the executions of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher but didn’t end there.

Hundreds were killed between 1535 and 1680; the Church recognized the heroism of 40 martyrs from England and Wales in a canonization ceremony on October 25, 1970.

Later, a separate feast day was created that would take place on 4th May each year to recognize the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation.

And that brings us today – a feast day that is still celebrated.  It was the sacrifice of the martyrs that allow us to freely practice our Catholic faith in England today.

Here are five of The English Martyrs, who you will recognise. Our houses in school are named after them.

St Anne Line

St Margaret Clitherow

St Thomas More

St John Boste

BI John Ingram

The English Martyrs were persecuted because they believed.

We currently can’t go to Mass or be with our church communities or do the things we want to at the minute because it isn’t safe for us to do so because of the Coronavirus. We can’t go because it is a measure to protect us. It’s very different from how it was back then.

There are still places throughout the world though, here in 2020, where people are not free to believe and can still be killed for it if they are found to have faith in Jesus.

They are not free not just because of the worldwide lockdown. Even when lockdown is over, they still won’t be able to go to their churches. They have to pray and celebrate their faith in secret, risking their lives simply by having faith. We have so much to be grateful for.

Be a rock of refuge for me, a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold. For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Into your hands, I commend my spirit. It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
As for me, I trust in the Lord: let me be glad and rejoice in your love.
Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your love.
You hide me in the shelter of your presence from the plotting of men.

The following prayers have been written by  Colleen Proudlock and Emily Carroll

Lord Jesus,

We place into your loving care all those who are suffering from sadness, are not able to be with their families, are ill in hospital or at home, alone and those who do not know what the future brings.

Lord hear us…

Lord Jesus,

We offer a prayer for those who are persecuted because of what they believe. Let them know God’s love and support and give them the strength to carry on sharing Our Lord’s message.

Lord hear us…

Dear Lord, please allow everyone through this rough time to be filled with the gift of courage and be resilient in hard times such as the English Martyrs were, let them be role models to us.

Lord hear us…

Dear Lord, we ask that you keep our school community safe, especially those who are still attending school. We pray for those whose parents are nurses or other front line staff and all of our own staff who are still attending work to make sure us at home are maintaining our learning while in lockdown.

Lord hear us…

We pray together in the words that Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.


May the prayers of The English Martyrs be with us today and may God’s blessing be upon us.

English Martyrs – Pray for us

Go and have a treat and enjoy your day!

Category : Chaplaincy , News



On Wednesday 26th February, the school marked the beginning of Lent by having special Ash Wednesday services in St Anne’s Hall.  The services were led by students from all year groups and every student from Year 7 to Year 9 were invited to receive ashes on their forehead as a physical symbol of the time we are entering into.

During this service, we talked about the significance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

This year, the school is aiming to raise £4000 as part of the CAFOD World Gifts programme for a medical centre in El Salvador. We are asking students to get creative in their fundraising over the next 6 weeks of Lent and also to give generously – it’s quite a task to try and raise such a huge amount of money. 

We have also added our CAFOD Appeal to Parent Pay. If any of our parents feel that you would like to make a contribution to the CAFOD Lent appeal, you can do so by clicking the link on ParentPay. There is no obligation to give a contribution, but the option is there if you’d like to help us reach our target before Easter.

The CAFOD appeal will remain open on ParentPay until Thursday 9th April. Thank you in advance!