"It feels so peaceful here."

15th April 2022

“Wow! The music room looks so different!” “It feels so peaceful here.” 

Last month, I took an early morning train and a very large coffee to a local primary school in Guildford to help run a prayer space. Sam, the Kids Pastor from Emmaus Road, had done a wonderful job transforming the spacious wooden music room into an environment for encounter. Black drapes hung from the ceiling, fairy lights wound their way past various prayer activities and glass jars, full of twinkling lights, were spread across the space. Soaking worship music softly weaved its way out of speakers and there was a sense of ‘calm’ as soon as you entered the room.

We set up 5 prayer activities: 

  1. Palm Sunday Prayers – where pupils took a green leaf and wrote or drew a thought or prayer for someone they love. They stuck it to the floor, making a carpet of green leaves.
  2. Let it go – A twist on ‘Forgiveness Stones’; here, pupils took a stone and thought of something that made them feel upset or angry. When they were ready to let go of that anger, they released the stone into a pot of water.
  3. You are… – Pupils look at some encouraging words and choose 3 that they believe they are. They write or draw those good things (or others), and take the paper with them to remind them of the good things about them
  4. Sorry Cross – Pupils write or draw something they need to be sorry for. Then they roll it up and push it through one of the holes in a large wooden cross, leaving them behind.
  5. Dream Clouds – Pupils write or draw their hopes or dreams for their future and stick it onto a cloud shape.

The pupils engaged so well with each activity, although ‘Let it go’ was a firm favourite in each class. As pupils entered the room, the shouts and loud laughter quietened to a hush (although sometimes we had to remind them), and they became fascinated by the space. Every teacher remarked on this change, and the children and young people were drawn in by the different activities.

As each class left, we tidied and reset the space, taking time to read some of the prayers that were left behind. There were prayers for friends, neighbours and family. There were prayers for reconciliation, prayers for hope, prayers for Ukraine, prayers for the world. It was so moving to see how much they thought and prayed for those outside their normal circles, for justice and for an end to war.