31st January 2023
I began working as Church Schools worker in a church primary school in Walsall in September 2019. The school had a prayer room which was accessible for KS2 children during lunchtimes. After attending an inspirational day hosted by Prayer Spaces in Schools, I was able to provide some great prayer and reflective activities however this space was only used by a small number of children. As soon as I began the role, I felt God was calling for me to set up something on the playgrounds which could be accessed by more children. Of course, this was not something which would happen quickly due to the pandemic.
As restrictions began to slowly lift, I was able to return to school and began to develop providing prayer activities on the playgrounds as the pupils were kept in bubbles. These prayer activities proved to be popular and very much needed by the children. The most popular activities were those linked to hope for the future
As time went on the opportunity to develop an outdoor area arose which was an answer to my prayers. A permanent prayer space was set up on the playground which is accessible by all pupils in KS1 and KS2 and this has proved to be popular with the children. With the help of fantastic church colleagues, we were able to open the Prayer Garden four lunchtimes a week with pupils able to access this area on different days to avoid the space becoming too busy. The Prayer Garden has a focus activity each week, it also provides a quiet place for children to come and talk, reflect, pray and also to read bible stories. I thank God for the opportunity to set up this permanent prayer space, it is such a blessing.
When the war in Ukraine began, the school requested a prayer space activity day to allow all pupils to respond to what was happening, which I based around sunflowers and doves of peace, this time allowed pupils and staff time to pray and reflect on these events. Annually the school have a ‘Spirituality Day’ and prayer spaces are provided as part of this. In 2022 we focussed on ‘What a wonderful world’; Plastic planet and Cardboard homes were prayer activities which the pupils particularly responded to with some quite moving prayers and conversations happening in response to those. We were also able to provide prayer space activities to other schools as part of our ‘Open Door’ event at church where Year 4 pupils from local schools came to explore the church and the Christian faith.
In September I changed jobs and returned to teaching. Although I miss my previous role, I am thrilled that I am teaching in the school I worked at as the Church Schools worker, so I am able to still support the running of the prayer space. This continues to be provided each week and is run by the amazing church and family workers of our local churches who we are so thankful for! My future plans are to provide, with the support of a team of children within school, prayer space activities within each classroom which can be accessed by pupils during the day.
Check out the video here from when we popped by