The GIFT team is a team of around 30 students, ranging from year 7 to year 13 and has the motto “Growing in Faith Together”. The team was set up in the September of the academic year of 2016-2017 with the idea of enabling the students to become more involved with the school’s Catholic ethos and the planning of events within the school. The idea of the GIFT team was introduced in an assembly at the start of the year, and the applications came flooding back with a range of year groups showing interest in the team.
In September an induction day was held for the people who had been selected by Rachel & Fr Andrew. The induction day ran from throughout the morning and early afternoon, covering a range of different topics. The first session was team building. For this a range of different activities were carried out so that the students could learn how to work as a team, as this would be vital. The rest of the sessions were based around prayer. Within these sessions the team were taught about prayer such as what it is and how it can be carried out. The team was set the task of creating a short prayer session which would be delivered to the rest of the group. These were a great success and gave the students a better insight into what goes on behind the planning of assemblies and Days with a Difference.
Advent was the first time the GIFT team had a large task to complete. The GIFT team were responsible for running the Advent form prayers, for each of the forms. The GIFT team where responsible for leading the form prayers so that they could put into practise what they had learnt from the induction day.
Each of the days a different member of the GIFT team was chosen to run the prayer so that it was split fairly between the team. Also during this time the GIFT team played a big role in the running of the Advent carol service. The GIFT team took a leading role in the Advent carol service with greeting people at the start of the service as well as doing the readings throughout the service and finally serving the refreshments at the end, whilst singing carols.
The autumn term concluded with the Christmas services, which were led by Rachel with different members of the GIFT team, helping to read, pray (and help with the IT!)
All these events were a huge success and the GIFT team are proud of the work they achieved in such a short time frame.
The next GIFT team meeting, which will be held on the 7th February, will discuss the different events that will be occurring this next term. These events include the Ash Wednesday Mass where we will help with the readings and prepare the bidding prayers and also provide music with the rest of the school’s musicians and choir. We also have the Lenten services coming up in which we would like the students to take a more active role with actually creating the Lenten service PowerPoint and preparing the assembly with some help from Rachel, who will give them an outline of what is required. As well as these events we also have Flame coming up in March in which Rachel is hoping to take some year 10/11 pupils from the GIFT team as well as some of the school’s 6th form students. This year we are also hoping to run the Fairtrade awareness meal again which was a huge success last year and marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight.
The GIFT team so far has been a huge success and is turning out to be really beneficial as it is getting the students more involved with the school’s prayer life, and allowing Rachel and Fr Andrew to develop the work of the Chaplaincy, hopefully it will go from strength to strength, creating and increasing peer leadership.
Some photographs of the team in action are attached below.