Posted by Phil on 25.11.2011
"At the end of October, Redland Education Centre visited St Bernadette Catholic School in Whitchurch to present a Prayer Trail on the theme ‘Identity’.
They transformed the school’s chapel into interactive zones which explored issues of body image, peer relationships, self-esteem and God’s view of them. Pupils aged 11-16 moved around the zones during RE lessons and during break and lunch times.
Around 600 pupils visited the trail, and some responded quite emotionally, e.g. when asked to look at themselves in a mirror and consider what they like/disliked about themselves. We used some of the Prayer Spaces in Schools zone ideas and also developed some of our own.
Pupils also had the opportunity to write a prayer to God and these revealed some deep needs and challenges faced by the young people: family and peer relationships, anxieties about the future, sadness over loss and struggles over body image and popularity.
The REC team were moved by pupils’ responses and although we chatted with pupils who were clearly struggling, we left feeling that there was potential for lots of pastoral follow up. As part of our response to this, we have decided to give a copy of Rachel Gardner’s book 'Cherished' to every Year 9 girl at the school. Rachel’s brilliant book gives girls a fantastic take on who they are in God, how they can find fulfillment as women and lots of good advice on puberty, sexuality and self-esteem. We are asking every woman in our church to give enough money to pay for one book for a Y9 girl."
Please keep sending in your Prayer Space stories, and especially details of any new prayer stations/zones that you develop that you'd like to share with others.