What is Prayer Spaces in Schools?
Children and young people are innately curious about life. Growing up raises lots of questions, some to do with their experience, both the good and the bad, and some to do with their sense of wonder at the universe we live in and whether there’s more to life than meets the eye. Many have an interest in the non-material aspects of life, the spirit or soul, and want to explore how these ideas and experiences help them to develop their own sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.
Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore these life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. Taking a broadly Christian perspective as a starting point, prayer spaces give children and young people an opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore prayer in an open, inclusive and safe environment. The approach does not proselytise and purposely allows pupils to make their own meaning and to draw their own conclusions.
A prayer space is usually a classroom sized area that has been transformed for a few days or a week with a range of creative activities that encourage personal reflection on issues such as forgiveness, injustice, thankfulness, big questions, identity and stillness. In some schools, teachers bring their students for a subject-lesson in the prayer space. In other schools, students are invited to visit the prayer space voluntarily, during their breaks and lunchtimes and maybe after the school day has finished.
Prayer spaces are usually run by a suitably trained team from a local church or organisation as a service to the school at the invitation of, and with the full co-operation of, senior staff. Prayer spaces have been welcomed and praised by Head teachers, teachers and parents of different faiths and of no faith as a valuable contribution to the RE and PSHE syllabus in England and Wales, and RME and Health & Wellbeing syllabus in Scotland, in line with government requirements, as well as assisting in the statutory responsibility to support the spiritual and moral development of the students.
Prayer Spaces in Schools is a resource hub for the growing network of practitioners running prayer or reflective spaces in schools. It is overseen by a small team who manage the web site, encourage the sharing of resources and good practice and support training workshops and local networks.
Prayer Spaces in Schools is a project of 24-7 Prayer, and as such it is accountable to 24-7 Prayer's oversight team and Trustees. 24-7 Prayer's details are as follows;
Charity No. 1091413
Company No. 04176643
Office: Allen House Pavilion, Eastgate Gardens, Guildford, GU1 4AZ
For more on what prayer spaces look like, and the impact that they have on school communities, please watch our promo video below, or read some of the story-reports elsewhere on this website.