“I wear so many masks, I have forgotten who I am”

12th December 2019

Crickhowell High School is located in the beautiful and inspiring surroundings of the Brecon Beacons National Park.  The school invited us to set up a prayer space which would run for 2 days, a day with the year 7’s and an open space for the second day.

We were given a quiet classroom on the outskirts of the main building overlooking the sports field and with easy access through the fire door to set up.  It’s the red wooden building in the picture above.

We covered the walls with drapery and set up 10 activities.  A passage way outside the prayer space gave us space to give each class a short talk explaining what the room was for and to encourage them to get into groups of three (30 students per class).  We monitored the time by allowing 4mins for each activity, a minute to move onto the next and 5 mins at the end for feedback.  An allocated time keeper used a little bell to ensure everyone moved on.  Our volunteers encouraged them to stick to the ordered journey through the space.

We had a white board where we projected atmospheric nature/forest pictures and sounds which we hoped would encourage the students to calm down and quietly engage. 

The most popular activity was the rice/jewels encouraging students to look for the beauty in the boring and unpleasant. Sifting through the rice and picking out the jewels which were placed under the bubble tube. 

Some feedback from pupils: 

  • “remembered our last family holiday and felt glad God gave me a family”
  • “I wear so many masks, I have forgotten who I am”
  • “Felt better reading everybody else’s masks and knowing I wasn’t alone”
  • “Maths will never be the same again” – responding to his maths classroom being converted to a prayer space.
  • “I never pray, but liked thinking about my life being a journey and deciding where I was”
  • “My mum was in a car accident, so want to thank God I am okay”
  • “I liked missing school to come here and look at all the activities”
  • “My favourite was the play dough, liked squishing  it and thinking that God was squishing into a good thing”