A summer of prayer spaces – inside, outside, collective and individual

29th June 2023

The team at GenR8 in Cambridgeshire are having a very busy summer term. Here is a snapshot of the range of Inspire Prayer Spaces we have hosted.

We have always found a warm welcome in local church primaries but wanted to do more with community schools too. So our first summer event was to set up a series of Sacred Spaces in a community school garden as part of the children’s learning in RE about the environment. We’d been trying to reach out to this school for years, so this very successful day was a real answer to prayer.

We then hosted two more Inspire Prayer Space Days. One was in a rather small library and corridor which involved a lot of ingenuity. The second was in a small school with no free space, so we took over the adjacent old stone church with fixed pews for the day;. more ingenuity was needed to set up lots of colourful areas for activities and reflection. As ever, the reactions of staff, pupils, governors and parents were wonderful as they entered these transformed spaces and the pupils’ comments showed a deep level of engagement.

Another initiative this term has been to provide prayer space bags to Year 6 children who are making the transition to secondary school. These are to complement the It’s Your Move tour of schools by a brilliant team of young people who visit Year 6 classes with a workshop and provide reassurance and help with the big move. Our lovely volunteers have sewn 500 mini prayer space bags ready for delivery by the It’s Your Move team. Each bag contains six self-guided activities, giving children an opportunity to reflect on their time at primary school and challenge them to think about the upcoming changes that will happen when they move onto secondary school. This is our third year of providing these bags – it began in the Covid lockdown but has proved to be a very popular resource. 

We have also continued to provide resources for Permanent Prayer Spaces in eleven schools. A new theme and activities are produced every half-term. This keeps the table/chair/noticeboard looking fresh and engaging. We work closely with local church volunteers who liaise with their school and go in to put each new display up.

Janet King (Prayer space volunteer) and Sian Thorne (Inspire Director)