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Friday, 18 December 2009

Top of the class ...

Although we always miss pupils who move on, we are always delighted to hear their news. Along with their Christmas greetings one family has just sent us these encouraging words:

"We often talk of Chavagnes life and are sorry we are no longer on the scene. Dominic seems now to be star pupil in all his subjects, thanks to his two years at Chavagnes. We hope you are flourishing and remember you all in our prayers."

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Buy your Catholic books and films online

You can now buy your Catholic books and films online at the new Saint Austin Press Amazon store. This site donates its amazon royalties to Chavagnes and includes a growing selection of books on various Catholic themes, plus a selection of dvds.

Check out the new online store today. Whether you live in the USA or in Europe, the weak dollar and Amazon's reasonable delivery prices mean that this is a great way to buy books for everyone.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Monday, 14 December 2009

Website popularity Chavagnes

The Chavagnes International College official website is getting approx 1,000 unique visitors per month. From 1st to 12th December we received 388 new visitors, with 71% of them adding our site to their favourites.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Woodworking Chaplain

In addition to being our resident school chaplain Fr Talbot also teaches photography and woodwork. Here he is with a mule chest he has just finished.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Chavagnes' Choir at the Maison du Clerge Le Landreau

Today our choir sang for the retired priests in Les Herbiers, a town not far from Chavagnes. We performed in the chapel there and were invited for a snack. We first visited them eight years ago, when the school opened its doors, and they always seem delighted to greet us. We now look forward to revisiting them in concert once again next year.

Boy bishop

On Sunday the 6th December, we celebrated the feast of Saint Nicholas with the traditional boy bishop. His Lordship Paul de Guibert having been installed as our bishop, he presided at pontifical Vespers for the feast. After our evening prayer, Bishop Paul was the guest of honour at the feast in the refectory.
The feast commenced with the presentation of the boar's head accompanied by a traditional song: "The Boar's Head in hand, bear I".
At the end of the festivities, Bishop Paul decreed that the teachers should do the washing-up, while the boys could watch a film and go to bed late. For more photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/ferdimcdermott/BoyBishop2009Chavagnes#

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Macbeth theatre dress rehearsals ...

Some previews of our production of Macbeth (scheduled for 13th and 14th December at Chavagnes).

Lady Macbeth (Maggie Boyles) : "Out, damn spot ..."

Lady Macduff (Anna Boyles) and son (Bernard Lloyd.)

Chavagnes' Choir at the old peoples' home.

Our choir went this afternoon to the old people's home down the street in Chavagnes. We wished them a merry Christmas and sang in French with them. We were then invited to a small collation. While we were enjoying our snacks, three of the residents sang songs of their own.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Chavagnes' Choir at the Clinic Saint Charles.

This afternoon our choir went to sing for the convalescents in La Roche sur Yon. A small audience of twenty people came to listen our music. We were then invited for a small snack with the patients and the staff.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Chavagnes Photographic Society

Chavagnes' Photographic Society is comprised of three boys from Chavagnes International College and one girl from the College Notre Dame de la Bonne Nouvelle, meets every week and is currently working for the GCSE in photography.

The above photograph was taken last year, and shows a combination of long shutter speed, flash and a sparkler. All combined to show the magic of photography.

Watch this space for more pictures/news!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Mrs Asch's new poetry collection

Mrs Asch's first collection of poems is just about to published but will, alas, probably not be on time for Christmas presents. It could make a good Epiphany offering, however.

She has a blog about her book, Reflections, on which she is posting some of her poems.

Visit Mrs Asch's blog: http://ruthasch.blogspot.com

Group effort

I have just invited a few pupils and staff to become contributors to this blog, under my supervision. My hope in doing this is to ensure that it becomes a bit more lively so as to reflect more fully our life at Chavagnes. You can expect contributions from the Photographic Society, the Literary Club, updates about the play, the choir, sports, local visits, etc ...

Watch this space.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Macbeth (Christmas Play) and Carol Service - dates and times

This year's Christmas play (not chosen for any special seasonal relevance!) is Shakespeare's Macbeth. Rehearsals began in September and it looks like it is going to be a landmark for Chavagnes drama so far. In previous years we have staged Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Twelfth Night, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and a number of other ambitous plays, but this is certainly the most ambitious to date.

Performances: Sunday 13th December 2009 at 7pm
and Monday 14th December 2009 at 4.30pm.

Our Annual Advent Carol Service will take place at 8pm on Monday 14th.
For those who have reserved in advance, a light buffet supper will be available for those attending the production of Macbeth and wishing to stay on for the Carol Service.

In the week prior to the Carol Service, the choir will also be singing carols in a number of old peoples' homes, a local hospital and a prison.

Friday, 20 November 2009

All-night vigil for Chavagnes boys scouts

Tonight, 20th November, 2009, the first contingent of Chavagnes scouts make their promise. After a 14km walk this afternoon, they have pitched tent beside our little chapel of St Joseph, in the woods, where the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed all night for veneration. They will be taking turns in the chapel and will make their promise at dawn, like the knights of old. We'll post some photos when we have them.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Chavagnes scouts orienteering

The most popular sporting activity at Chavagnes this year so far is the weekly 10km orienteering challenge, with a generous reward for the winning house.

Chavagnes boys, pictured here in scout uniform, celebrate a successful trek on 9th October.

The new Chavagnes scouts will be making their promise in early November during a special overnight camp including an all night vigil of prayer modelled on the vigils performed by medieval knights.

Futuroscope: travel to the future for Chavagnes boys

The Futuriscope near Poitiers was the destination of boys and staff from Chavagnes on 26th September, for a trip into the future ...

Attractions included dancing robots, flight simulators and other similar technical wizardry.


Puy du Fou

Boys from Chavagnes enjoyed their annual visit to the Puy du Fou on Saturday 12th September.

The Gladiator show remained the favourite attraction this year.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Chavagnes Choir Tour, UK 2009

Please spread the word to any friends you have who may be in the area for these forthcoming engagements of the Chavagnes Choir:

Concert of Sacred Music (Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, Tye, Allegri ...), 7.30pm, Blackfriars, St Giles, Oxford, on FRIDAY 7th August. Admission Free.

Choir sings at Sunday Mass, 11am, The Oratory, Oxford, Sunday 9th August.

Concert of Sacred Music (Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, Tye, Allegri ...), 7.45pm, Priory Church of Our Lady and St Michael, Abergavenny on Sunday 9th August. Admission Free.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Choir Tour 2009

This summer, we are planning a CHOIR TOUR of the south of England and Wales, from 5th to 12th August.

If you are a Chavagnes parent, please let the College know if your son can participate in this. It would mean his being available between those two dates, in London.

For non-UK pupils, they would need to be arrive in London (we will arrange airport collection and stay with Chavagnes families) on 4th August. They would be free to travel hom on 13th August.

Please contact Mr McDermott and let him know what your plans are. We can liase between families to facilitate transport arrangements.

During the week we will be singing in 2 or 3 churches, visiting some interesting places and attending a Shakespeare Play at the London Shakespeare's Globe.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chavagnes Nantes flights back on track with KLM

VLM Airlines, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM, is to start a service between London City Airport and Nantes on April 27.Flights will operate twice daily on weekdays (departing from London at 8.25am and 5.45pm) and once daily on Saturdays (departing at 8.25am) and Sundays (5.45pm). Flights depart from Nantes at 7.45am and 5.30pm on weekdays, at 7.45am on Saturdays, and 5.30pm on Sundays.

What a relief after Ryanair's shock decision to withdraw flights ...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Catholic High School Study Abroad Programs

Information for boys from USA, Canada and other non-European countries, seeking a year or two in Europe. High School Abroad programs individually tailored to the needs of US students; includes study courses and cultural visits throughout Europe during school vacations.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Bishop Alain Castet visits Chavagnes International College

We were delighted to received our new diocesan bishop for Mass and a visit on Ash Wednesday.

A few boys were missing that day, but here is the group photograph.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chavagnes: where the real Catholic gentlemen go, instead of Hogwarts ...

Here is a little press release I dreamed up in a bid to drive more traffic to our website, you know thone one promoting our Catholic boarding school for boys, one of the most interesting and original private schools in the world ... (you can see I have been reading about how to get your site referenced on search engines, can't you?)


Monday, 2 February 2009

Chavagnes Choir sings Bruckner's Locus Iste

Bruckner's Locus Iste: Recorded June 2008. A beautiful rendition.

Translation: This place was made by God; an inestimably holy place. It is without blame.

Singing it in the beautiful College chapel, one can't help thinking it appropriate. Chavagnes IS a holy place, even if it is full of sinners. God bless. FMcD.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Photos from Chavagnes 'Chinese New Year'

A Chinese dragon, decorations and Chinese food (for Chinese new year), 26the Jan. 2009.

Gabbitas listing, just for information

This is our page on Gabbitas. It is not as well linked-to as one would expect, but it is a world-renowned listing for private schools. They also publish the Independent Schools Guide, which we have been in for the last few years.

Monday, 26 January 2009

New sites relating to Chavagnes, Catholic private boarding schools for boys

Single-sex Catholic boarding schools for boys and girls; links, articles, comment.


http://boardingschools.catholicstudyabroad.com/ A site aimed at potential Chavagnes students from the USA and other long-haul locations. It includes information on a special programme of vacation travel to sites of cultural interest around Europe.

http://www.chavagnes.catholicstudyabroad.com/ Study at Chavagnes: a Guide for non-European students and, in particular, students from the USA.

So in summary Catholic Boarding Schools Information, and two sites offering a fantastic study abroad opportunity for those seeking a Catholic High School Study Abroad Program.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Chavagnes team takes to the road

Mr McDermott, Father Talbot, Mr Aldridge and Dominic O'Leary (VIth-former) will be taking to the road during February half term, on a special promotional tour (7th-15th Feburary).

Events are lined up in London, Brighton, South Wales, Lancaster and some other locations across the country.

Chavagnes 'Information days' are events at which include a talk on Chavagnes, accompanied by a DVD presentation, plus a chance to meet some of the protagonists ...

Friday, 16 January 2009

Great Books Summer Course at Chavagnes

From 26th July to 4th August 2009 : Great Books Summer Course at Chavagnes

- A whistle-stop tour of the great works of western literature
- with a distinguished faculty of lecturers
- A cultural holiday with a difference
- Visits to sites of cultural and historic interest
- Musical and literary entertainment
- Good food and company

Monday, 12 January 2009