Canterbury As An Anglican School | Some Important Considerations

When parents or carers are choosing a school for their children, I understand that the ‘religiosity’ of the school does not hold the same level of importance for everyone.

Across society, the number of families identifying as ‘religious’ and/or regularly attending church, is steadily declining.

Interestingly though, enrolments in faith-based independent schools of all religious denominations however, continue to increase every year.

What are we to make of this?

Could it be, that families are comfortable with faith-based values within independent schools, but not necessarily the institution of the ‘Church’ itself?

Anglican schools in Queensland have a reputation as strong academic schools.

Anglican schools, like Canterbury, also take a principled stance that ‘the whole student’ is developed, and an emphasis on character education, service and leadership is also apparent.

Anglican schools do attempt to deliver a practical ‘manifestation’ of gospel stories around compassion, servant leadership, hope, integrity and respect.

Indeed, some of these values and stories are represented in Canterbury’s stated ‘Values’ as a school.

The Anglican Church welcomes the traditions and stories from across Christian faiths and non-Christian faiths alike.

People of all faith positions are invited to worship and reflect alongside each other.

In fact, there is a strong emphasis – even in Canterbury’s Religious and Values Education (RaVE) program – about understanding both Christianity and major world religions, including their similarities and differences.

I am encouraged that families from Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and many other backgrounds, find a comfortable home here at Canterbury.

I know our new College Chaplain, Father Dan Talbot, will be encouraging all faith traditions to share their stories and worship practices.

This is a great strength of our school, and sits comfortably within the embracing and inclusive Anglican Church in Queensland more broadly.

Our annual St John’s Cathedral City Service was very well-attended this year and the number of students coming forward for a blessing was lovely to see.

We also know that many families would like their children to have opportunities to be confirmed and receive communion.

We are certainly working towards creating opportunities for these Anglican traditions to be offered to our community – staff, alumni, students and parents.

But this will always be absolutely up to each family – we do not pressure stakeholders about such matters.

However, we do ask for a mindful and reflective attitude and outlook from all our students.

I do encourage all our students to take part with open hearts and open minds in our regular chapel services throughout the year.

Sometimes a chapel service may not have a great spiritual significance to a young person.

But… it is a perfect opportunity for some quiet time – to slow down and reflect on thoughts more generally.

It is also important to learn more about both Christian faith and the faiths of other churches around the world.

Our mantra of ‘Different Together’ makes us stronger and more ‘World Ready’ and this is our overall objective for Canterbury students.

Mr Dan Walker
College Principal