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Servus servorum Dei

St Gregory the Great famously styled his universal ministry with the words: servus servorum Dei – servant of the servants of God. St Benedict likewise saw the monastery as a school of the Lord’s service.

The vision of both saints is canonised in the phrase ‘service in our world’ within our own vision. Our refreshed vision statement emphasises the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ in the life and mission of our school. Inspired by reflection on the gospel message, seeds are sown in the hearts of pupils to reach out to others, encountering the heart of Jesus through humble, self-effacing service.

With Christ at our centre, service towards one another is inspired by Him. Preferring nothing to the Love of Christ (Rule Chapter 4) we strive to be servants of the Servant King. St John Henry Newman made his motto ‘Heart speaks unto Heart’. In the gospels we read that the heart of Jesus Christ spoke to those who were lost, marginalised, and isolated.


At Downside School we imitate the example of Our Lord and continue His mission through the three Communities of St John, St Teresa of Calcutta, and St Luke, covering different aspects of the school’s mission of prayer and service.

The first is St John’s Community that acts as the ‘mother community’ for lectio leaders in the Fifth and Sixth Forms. The objective is to guide the pupils to develop friendship with Christ and with others, helping them to grow into true missionary disciples.

The aim of the St Teresa of Calcutta Community is to promote a culture of Christian service in the school. It is involved in different aspects of service, as well as seeking to build up links with charities, schools and parishes.

The St Luke’s Community assists in the organisation of the Sunday Mass, house Masses, house prayers and reconciliation services. It takes a lead part in the two CAFOD Family Fast Days and #Red Wednesday Liturgy in November for Persecuted Christians. It also assists the Chaplaincy department with the ‘Nightfever’ prayer event in the Old Chapel, taking place in Advent and Lent.

The weekly meetings of the communities always begin with a prayerful reading from scripture.

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