Prayer Spaces in School
A big part of what Young Crown is doing at the moment is offering enrichment to local schools – serving the children right where they are Monday to Friday. I’m pleased to report on a successful school-based project delivering Religious Education in a new mode to our neighbours next door…
During the week of 15th – 19th May, we were offered the chance to run prayer spaces for Crown Primary School. We took over the whole Learning Zone / Library for the full week, and set about transforming the whole space into a room of wonder, reflection, prayer and peace. The transformation began by redecorating the room – setting up gazebos, draping material and covering over the familiar shelves; to give the feel of coming in to somewhere different and special. We set up 11 “prayer stations” around the room – each with something to think / reflect on; something to do; something to learn about Christian belief; and some verse from the Bible on the theme. Themes ranged from ‘hope’ to ‘asking big questions’; ‘personal prayer’ to praying for the world; saying sorry and forgiving others; being active and being still. Activities ranged from shredding paper to creating models; making origami flowers (which blossomed in water) to dissolving tablets; writing in sand to making inky handprints.
What a reception we had! As we were running the space as an RME lesson, every class came through and used the spaces over the course of the week. It was wonderful to see the children of all ages and stages interact with prayer and Christian belief on many levels. Teachers were very impressed both with the content of the lessons and the creativity of the space – many ideas have been taken away and brought back into the classrooms! We had some activities which built up over the week, so as the time went on, we had more and more prayers for the world around a map, bunting decorating the room with messages of thankfulness and big questions going up in the windows. We even finished the week with everybody’s handprint displayed over two windows in the library (as a celebration both of our uniqueness and unity)! The space was visited during lunchtimes by pupils looking to spend extra time there, which was wonderful to see – and a positive indication that our prayer spaces were offering more than just educational value too.
The whole week was made possible with the generous lending of equipment from Hilton Church and my helpers in the room – Peter Collinson and Hannah Donald. Also, of course, the school themselves for putting faith in us to deliver something quality – which we did!
I’m sure we’ll be invited to do that again…
As ever, so many thanks for your prayers and support,