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Christian Setting

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, Polynesia and New Zealand is part of the wider Anglican Communion which joins Anglican churches together throughout the world. In New Zealand, the Anglican Church finds its expression through the various cultural or tikanga streams of the Church.

The Cathedral Grammar School is a Christian school in the Anglican tradition. It was founded in 1881 by the Chapter of the ChristChurch Cathedral to educate the choristers. It still fulfills that function today.

What does it mean for a school to be Christian? It means that students see faith being lived in all sorts of implicit ways, through the values which infuse the curriculum and the school’s style of administration, and through the models provided by the best of their teachers. They learn about the faith explicitly in Religious Education and some other subjects. And they are encouraged to investigate further in voluntary religious activities the claims the faith makes on their lives. At the end of it all, we trust that they have been put in the best possible position to make an informed choice as to whether they will make a faith commitment or not.  There our direct responsibility ends.
Brian Hill, Murdoch University, Australia.
The Christian faith is central to the life of the school.  It is visible in:
  • the services of worship held by each department of the school in which the members of the school community are challenged to 
    • reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their response; and
    • develop their sense of identity and belonging. 
  • the training of choirs to sing in services;
  • the nature of prayers and readings spoken at Assemblies and the use of examples of faith and values as witnessed in the Bible.;
  • the employment of a priest - the Chaplain - to lead services, to teach Religious Education and to provide pastoral care to the school family;
  • the teaching of Religious Education, including an awareness of the tenets of other faiths;
  • the overt teaching of the values as described in the Virtues List within a underlying Christian context; and
  • the form and quality of the daily interactions between members of the school community.
There is a real tension in educational thinking between those whose concern is primarily, almost exclusively, with imparting skills to individuals and those who understand education as something that forms the habits of living in a group, identifying common aspirations and making possible cooperation and conversation…the Church schools are of the latter type. Educational institutions in fact can’t be neutral about this. If you think you are being neutral about the moral or spiritual ethos of a school, you are in fact generating an ethos of individualism, functionalism and ultimately fragmentation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, 11 September 2003