Dean Close has changed almost beyond recognition since its foundation in 1886. However, the principles on which the School was founded remain constant. At the core of these is the Christian character of the School. In the context of the late 19th Century this might not have needed much explanation or elaboration, but in 2023, within a much more secular society, serving a rich, broad and multicultural clientele, and with a variety of schools and nurseries in different contexts and with different histories, it is important to explain the relevance of this Christian distinctiveness to new generations. It is for this reason that we derived the Foundation values of Flourishing, Love, Courage and Contribution, to make our Christian values understandable and inclusive.
One of the key elements of this distinctiveness is the importance of our Chaplaincy Team, and this year we have bucked the trend in other schools by investing further in chaplaincy, appointing a new Senior Chaplain, the Revd Ian Gulland, who is primarily based at Dean Close School, and an Associate Chaplain, the Revd Alice Monaghan, who serves the community at Dean Close Preparatory and Pre-preparatory schools. Both chaplains also provide support to Dean Close St John’s, Dean Close Airthrie, our nurseries and the staff working in central roles across the Foundation.
Ian was formerly the Vicar of Padstow, and prior to that worked in a number of roles within engineering and management. He joins us as a resident member of the School community, with his wife Vicky and their three boys, who all attend DCPS. Alice has experience as a school chaplain, having previously served at Westonbirt School. She lives in Churchdown with her husband John, who is also ordained.
Chaplains not only oversee public events such as chapel services, but also offer confidential support to pupils and staff who may be facing difficulties, for example bereavement or family breakdown. The chaplaincy team also includes several recent graduates each year, who benefit from leadership training and experience, and who are often able to relate particularly well to young people in our schools.