The Chaplaincy is at the centre of the school. 

We are proud of our Catholic heritage, pedagogy and tradition.  All pupils are encouraged to participate in the rich and vibrant spiritual life of the school.  We are a predominately Catholic school and world-famous as a centre of excellence in the Jesuit tradition.  We also welcome young people of all Christian traditions, and other faiths, encouraging them to play as full a part as they can in the spiritual life of our school.

Our student body has always been drawn from a global community and this enriches chaplaincy work at Stonyhurst.  Each year pupils go on retreats, travel to Rome and other centres of pilgrimage and historical importance.

Today, we retain strong links with Jesuit schools around the world.  Two thirds of our students are Roman Catholics, one third join us from overseas, and you’ll find Stonyhurst alumni serving others and in leadership roles around the world.


Spiritual Development

At Stonyhurst, all that we do is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God), and every pupil, whatever their religious background, is encouraged to participate in the spiritual life of the school.

Children of all religions, and none, value our supportive and prayerful community, which helps them to develop the habit of reflection and to grow in a personal relationship with God.  For our Catholic pupils, we are delighted to offer preparation for their First Communion or Confirmation.

We teach the importance of spirituality, promote daily prayer, stress the need for gratitude, especially for God’s gifts, and encourage students to empathise with the needs of others.  We also introduce students to forms of spiritual reflection inspired by St Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

We celebrate Mass each week, celebrate special Feast Days, actively participate in the Sacraments and the Liturgical year, and hold an annual retreat for each playroom (year group), at which students have the opportunity to reflect on their lives, their faith, and their place in the world.

In addition to the annual Playroom retreats, Stonyhurst and the Stonyhurst Assocation organise various pilgrimages, including the Holy Island Pilgrimage and the Stonyhurst Lourdes Pilgrimage.  

As is the practice of all students in Jesuit schools, our pupils write AMDG, for Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God) at the head and LDS, for Laus Deo Semper  (praise God always) at the foot of every piece of their work.

In RE, students explore different aspects of Catholicism, as well as other religions. Throughout their school life to learn to see God in all things: our work, our sport, our play, and as much in our disappointments as in our successes.

Jesuit Principles

Our Jesuit principles provide the bedrock of our mission to develop our pupils’ unique talents, challenging them to give of their very best in all that they do, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God and to find God in all things.

With Jesus at the centre of our caring, supportive and prayerful community of pupils, staff and parents, we know our pupils as individuals, provide for their specific needs and help them to become well-rounded men and women who will do as much as they can for other people.

We nurture independently-minded young people, able to think for themselves, and to stand up for their beliefs, preparing them intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to play an active role in the church and provide leadership in facing the problems of the modern world.

We help pupils to find God in the majesty of His creation, to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to them and to live up to our school motto, Quant je puis, as much as I can, in their every endeavour.

Jesuit Mission and Identity

We believe that prayer and worship should be a relevant and significant part of the lives of all our pupils and staff. Accordingly, we:

  • foster our pupils’ relationship with God with an age-appropriate programme of Ignatian prayer and worship.
  • provide staff with Jesuit induction, regular spiritual support and ongoing training, including a biennial staff retreat.
  • work closely with the Diocese and local parishes to encourage day pupils to be involved in the life of the Church.
  • We seek to excel in preparing our pupils intellectually and spiritually and will:
  • strive to send out pupils able to articulate their Faith clearly in word and deed.
  • develop specific programmes such as our year-group retreats and the Lenten series to engage pupils in ethical issues facing Christians today and provide opportunities to experience a variety of styles of prayer and worship.
  • continue to highlight the works of the Society of Jesus in the British Province so that pupils are aware of how they may build upon their experience at Stonyhurst.
  • strengthen the reflective skills needed truly to live up to the call to be ‘men and women for others’ in the Ignatian tradition.
  • will deepen our commitment to care for creation through initiatives to develop lifestyle choices in our staff and pupils which always take account of our impact upon the poorest in our world.  To this end we will
  • continue to promote and live up to the ideals of our Fair Trade status.
  • work with our partners in Zimbabwe and through the Faith That Does Justice group, Arrupe volunteering programme and the St Mary’s Hall Children for Children charity. By the time they leave Stonyhurst, we aim for all students to have engaged in at least one of the many opportunities designed to help them become men and women for others by
  • encouraging them to take part in activities such as Chirwirangwe in Zimbabwe, the Liverpool Faith School link, Arrupe, Learning to Care, Children for Children and the Stonyhurst Children’s Holiday Week.
  • developing our Higher Line pupils as leaders who pass on the Faith we proclaim by assisting with retreats and assemblies for Lower Line pupils.

Men & Women For Others

The phrase ‘men and women for others’ was first used by Fr Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus 1965 to 1983, who emphasised that a Jesuit education was about more than simply teaching children; it was about guiding pupils to put their gifts and talents towards helping others.

Arrupe’s example is manifested our wide range of activities which help our young people to develop empathy for others and to contribute to resolving the problems of the modern world.


Children for Children

A registered charity run by the children of St Mary’s Hall, focusing on issues most important to them and encouraging them to develop practical life skills, guided by our chaplaincy.

Faith That Does Justice

This group meets weekly to implement their faith by campaigning for Fairtrade, working on environmental justice, encouraging CAFOD projects and engaging with human rights issues.

Stonyhurst Children’s Holiday Trust (SCHT)

Stonyhurst students raise funds and organise an annual summer holiday at St Mary’s Hall for disabled children, a challenging and incredibly rewarding week for everyone involved.

Arrupe Programme

More than 70% of our Sixth formers take part in our Arrupe, working each week in local primary schools, homes for the elderly, charity shops, hospices, special schools and Riding for the Disabled.


Meaning “we will struggle together”, Chirwirangwe aims to improve the education of the whole person at Stonyhurst and our twinned school, St Peter’s, in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare.

Learning to Care (LTC)

Learning to Care (or LTC) is a registered charity run by the pupils of Stonyhurst College, who organise an extensive programme of fundraising and charitable giving throughout the year.