SpiritualityAt the heart of the school is a gem of a chapel designed in the Morris Arts & Craft style. Here the daily acts of worship and praise ground our school in what is meaningful. St Cyprian´s School is an Anglican School with the Archbishop of Cape Town as the visitor. Careful attention is paid to helping girls deepen their faith and learn about the Anglican tradition. In the Preparatory School girls may be admitted to communion. Many girls cherish a dream to be married in the Chapel and throughout the year, past pupils are married here, often with the choir singing an anthem.
The Chapel is not only a setting for grand and beautiful occasions, it is also the place where girls grapple with their understanding of faith in Divinity classes. The Chaplain facilitates classes from Grades 4 to 11 once a cycle, addressing a wide range of issues from prayer to conflict resolution and values. Girls are also encouraged to use the Chapel for private prayer and to bring their offerings to God in various collections of food, clothes or toys for those in need.
The girls take responsibility for keeping the Chapel ready for services which take place every day for different sections of the school. They read and participate in these services and at the Eucharist. Once a year the entire school process down to the city to celebrate our Patronal Festival, with a solemn Evensong at St George´s Cathedral. Girls are encouraged to integrate the ethics and praxis of their Faith in service to and respect for others, to be active members of their local family churches and to be accepting of others who hold a different view or Faith.
At every Chapel assembly a single candle is lit as we pray for peace, and similarly at noon the Chapel bell rings to call the school to momentarily pause to pray for peace. A fulltime Chaplain conducts services, Divinity classes and is available for prayer ministry and counseling. In 2004 St Cyprian´s School was received into the international Community of the Cross of Nails Centre in recognition of our commitment to reconciliation, transformation and nation-building and co-hosted the second International Youth Conference in 2006.
Cross of NailsSt Cyprian’s School is the first school in South Africa - and one of only four worldwide - to receive the prestigious Cross of Nails, a powerful international symbol of peace and reconciliation. The pectoral cross, fashioned from medieval nails from the ruins of the original Coventry Cathedral in England, is bestowed upon those who have dedicated their lives to justice, reconciliation and peace.
The Cross of Nails is an international organization whose ministry of Reconciliation stems from the destruction of Coventry Cathedral in England in 1941 by the Germans.
The Community of the Cross of Nails, which draws its name from nails found in the ruins of the cathedral, is a part of the cathedral’s ministry of reconciliation, and has as its goal to “witness to the power which forgiveness has, to build new life out of the brokenness of the world.” At a special service was held in the school chapel on 13 September, clergy from Coventry Cathedral welcomed St Cyprian’s School into the Community of the Cross of Nails by presenting them with a miniature replica of the original Cross of Nails.
The school was presented with the Cross of Nails because of its work in the community and its ongoing work towards reconciliation. Since 1990 the school has been engaged in an active process of transformation – to meet the needs, face the challenges and welcome the opportunities of the New South Africa. Central to its philosophy of making a difference are a number of community partnerships whereby the girls are encouraged to give their time and energy, not just money and material items. Furthermore its ‘…girl-child in Afrika’ project is playing an important role in meeting the goal of gender equality in education by providing financial assistance to girls who would otherwise not be able to afford the quality of education the school offers.
Coventry Cathedral´s ministry of reconciliation is the most well established, church-based centre for reconciliation in Great Britain. The international ministry of the Cathedral springs from the night of 14th November 1940, when the city of Coventry was reduced to ruins by German bombs. Its’ Cathedral, at the heart of the city, burned with it. Rather than look to revenge, the cathedral´s Provost, pledged to go in peace to Germany. He did do immediately after the war, taking with him a symbol of reconciliation, a Cross of Nails, originally made from three medieval nails taken from the wooden beams of the ruins of the Cathedral. This was taken to Kiel, Berlin and Dresden, German cities which had been shattered by Allied bombing raids.
Since then, the Cross of Nails has been taken to all five continents to encourage people who are working towards peace and reconciliation within their own communities. There are now 220 Cross of Nails Centres all over the world, including parishes, study and conference centres, universities, schools, a national parliament (Germany), a whole people (Iraq), a plane (The Flying Hospital), and a ship (the HMS Coventry).