The ‘magic’ of any prayer space isn’t really in the prayer activities, it’s in the people who host it. Therefore, careful recruitment and thorough preparation/training is essential.
You need people who are:
Don’t advertise for volunteers. Hand-pick your ‘dream team’. Ask people who already serve on church teams. Ask ex-teachers, governors, parents and especially grandparents. You can take risks with a couple of prayer activities that might or might not work, but you mustn’t take any risks with your prayer space team.
You don’t need a large team to host a prayer space, regardless of how long it lasts. A team leader plus 3-4 other adults is sufficient for most prayer spaces (although for Key Stage 1 children, we would recommend having an adult for every prayer activity). Hosting a prayer space with less people makes it harder to be fully aware and responsive to what’s going on, and the risks increase. It’s possible, of course, to host a prayer space with a much bigger team, but it doesn’t necessarily make it better – just busier. Too many team members can sometimes ‘crowd’ a prayer space, and discourage pupils from participating.
All team members should have DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance and should be familiar with the school’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
Your prayer space teams may include all kinds of people… children’s workers and youth workers, church ministers and members, parents and grandparents, teaching staff and even pupils. If they haven’t already been involved in a prayer space team, it’s important that you prepare and train them well. To do this, you could:
During the prayer space itself, please remember to look out for your team. Ask them how they’re doing every now and again. It’s good to pray together at the start and the end of every day.