Lakes Grammar currently has one chaplain, Reverend Matt Shorten who is present Monday to Friday. (We are currently advertising for another chaplain). The chaplains are leaders of the worshipping life of the school, form an integral part of the pastoral care system and act as resource people for the religious studies components of the curriculum.
Matt leads staff devotions and is available for staff, students and their families to talk and pray with. The students at Lakes Grammar attend a chapel service once a week led by the chaplains, co-ordinating with the various classes and tutor groups. Students are encouraged to participate both at these chapels as well as at the family chapel services held at Lakes Anglican Church. Matt also leads a Family Chapel at school on Saturdays at 5.00pm in term time.
Matt also facilitates a number of groups that run outside of class times, such as a playgroup, adult craft group, children’s craft group, lunchtime faith development group and grief group (Seasons for Growth). He is also involved in school sports, cultural activities and excursions. Our chaplains are also responsible for heading up our charitable activities, which form a part of the social responsibility development in our students. They also find themselves in classrooms answering lots of curly questions from inquisitive young minds.
One of the most important roles that our chaplains have is in caring for our students. Currently Matt provides a listening ear when necessary and referral to outside expertise as the need arises. Part of caring for students means caring for their families and our chaplains are often sharing a cuppa or a moment in the car park with parents or grandparents. They also provide a sensitive sounding board for our staff as tricky situations occur.
Though this is just a quick introduction to what our chaplains do it is by no means exhaustive. The nature of chaplaincy is that different needs arise and so the chaplains adapt to these new situations. Through all they do, our chaplains hope to share Jesus’ love with all whom they spend time with. That is their most important mission. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you wish to speak with Matt.