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'It is so important to allow the children the time and space to pause and think about some of the aspects they undoubtedly face when moving into a time of transition between primary and secondary school, reflect on their feelings and to pray about the changes ahead.’

3rd July 2024

Each year Durham Cathedral is transformed into an enormous prayer space for pupils from Year 6 to mark their transition from primary to secondary school. This year over 2000 children from CofE and community schools took part in the five different prayer activities and each visit concluded with a 30 minute service which includes a choir from one of the schools.

Pupils are divided into groups of 15 to move round the prayer activities, each of which is led by Year 10 students from the Diocese’s secondary schools with a bit of help from adult volunteers.

This year the prayer activities were:

Together (LEGO)

Pupils are invited to think about their place in the bigger picture, their part to play in their schools and communities. They then use the lego bricks to build something to represent themselves and can also add a brick to the large cross which is being made.

Thank you.

Pupils are invited to think of someone who they are thankful for during their time in primary school – maybe another child, a teacher, a helper, or a volunteer. They are then invited to make a pipe-cleaner person and to pray for that person, thanking God for them. They then take the pipecleaner people home with them as a reminder.

Pupil Voice.

Pupils are asked for their ideas on what spirituality is, what it means to them and how they have experienced spirituality.

Peace Doves.

The pupils will engage in the Peace Doves project, writing a message of peace on a paper dove which will join thousands of others in an installation in Durham cathedral.

Scripture Union Diary of a Disciple.

Pupils will discover more about the parable of the lost sheep engaging in a quiz, a sheep game and an activity to represent each pupil by name in the ‘field of sheep’. Each child was given a copy of the Scripture Union mini book ‘Diary of a Disciple’ to take home.

Sharon Pritchard, Children’s Ministry Adviser at the Diocese of Durham said, ‘The prayer spaces are so amazing as they enable every child to engage individually, at their own pace.  It is so important to allow the children the time and space to pause and think about some of the aspects they undoubtedly face when moving into a time of transition between primary and secondary school, reflect on their feelings and to pray about the changes ahead.’

If you’re thinking of running a leavers service we’ve got a pack of ideas from Jane Whittington at the Diocese of Guildford here: https://prayerspacesinschools.com/lesson-and-policy/leavers-service-pack/