“The Chaplaincy is regarded as a vital touchstone for everything that happens at King's.”
Father Mark Smith is our Chaplain and he is a full-time member of staff who lives with his family on the school campus. The Chaplaincy is regarded as a vital touchstone for everything that happens at King's and, as a Woodard School, the role of the Chaplain is an incarnational one - reminding the school community of the loving presence of God permeating all we do.
King's College Chapel is primarily a place of worship for the whole school community. However it is also the finest concert venue in Taunton, seating up to 400, with excellent acoustics for the performers. We also have a theatre complex that houses the theatre, conference room and additional areas for lessons and meetings.
Click here to listen to our chapel services and sermons.
The Chaplain is also responsible for all chapel services. There is a weekly Eucharist for the whole school community, a Friday morning reflection, and evening prayer in the St. Francis chapel on Sundays. During the year there are special services in our chapel like the Confirmation, Remembrance Sunday, Leavers' Eucharist, two Carol Services and Christmas morning Eucharist.
Father Mark teaches all pupils for at least three years and interacts with them formally and informally in a wide range of other ways. Some examples include:
- Confirmation classes
- Leading our membership of Citizens UK, providing training in community organising for staff and pupils
- Friday afternoons working in the school mini-farm which is run by the Chaplain
- The Philosothon – a philosophy competition discussing the 'big' questions
- Mindfulness meditation practice
- The Year Group Forum
- Individual counselling
St Francis Mass
We pride ourselves on our unusual and quirky traditions. In the Michaelmas Term, we hold our annual St Francis Mass. To commemorate the Patron Saint of Animals, we host a special ceremony in which our Chaplain, Father Mark, blesses the pets of the King's community.
Also during this term, we host our Harvest Festival, which thanks to generosity of staff, pupils and parents donate we are able to collect food for our local foodbank. In 2018, we donated over 188kg of produce - supplies that we hope greatly benefit those in need.
St Francis Mini Farm
We have our very own mini farm at King's, which was once home to many animals, including pygmy goats, alpacas, dwarf rabbits, ducks and various exotic birds. The chapel in the farm is dedicated to Saint Francis, and is used for meditation on Sunday evenings.
The farm is now exclusively devoted to growing food. A Fourth Form activity group helps with weeding the vegetable garden and other maintenance tasks around the farm. It gives them the opportunity to learn and provides a quiet place in which to enjoy God's generous creation.