On this web-page you will find links to our Day Conference Keynotes and Seminars.
Day Conferences 2017
In 2017, we hosted our Day Conferences in London and York. During our 2017 Day Conferences Professor Julian Stern and Rachael Shillitoe presented the initial findings of York St John University's research project into the impact of prayer spaces in schools.
The team at 'Off The Fence' also ran a Getting Started with Prayer Spaces in Schools workshop. Here's the video.
Day Conferences 2015
In 2015, we hosted our Day Conferences in Leeds, and London. The London event was our largest one ever. Our friends from Wales left their homes at 3am to come to London, and one of the Malta team flew in the night before.
1) Pete Greig - Keynote. Pete is one of the founding champions of the 24-7 prayer movement. He leads Emmaus Rd, a growing church community in Guildford UK, where he lives with his wife Sammy, their two sons. He is also the author of a number of books (including Red Moon Rising and God On Mute).
2) Trevor Cooling - Keynote. We're sorry for the low quality of the sound on Trevor's video. Trevor began his career as a Biology and then RE teacher. His Phd thesis was in RE, and he is currently Professor of Christian Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. Trevor developed the What If Learning website, which explores what teaching and learning can look like when rooted in Christian faith, hope and love, and he wrote the influential publication, Doing God in Education.
Day Conferences 2014
In 2014, we were in London, and in York for our Day Conferences. People came from all over the UK, and a few flew in from other nations... on this occasion, Poland. We invited a variety of superb speakers to help us explore how Christians can support the spiritual life of schools.
1) Graham Sims, 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School' - Keynote. Graham is an ex-Head teacher and one of the country’s most experienced Ofsted inspectors. He is now an independent consultant advising schools and running training for school leaders and governors on inspection-related issues, school improvement, teaching and learning, and leadership and management. 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School' - Summary and Comments
2) Jane Whittington, 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School'. Jane is a Schools Officer with the the Diocese of Guildford. Jane was a Head teacher, and pioneered one of the very first prayer spaces.
3) Lat Blaylock, 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School' - Keynote. Lat is an ex-RE and Humanities teacher, who is now the editor of RE Today and consults widely with schools, SACREs and Local Authorities. 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School' - Summary and Comments.
4) Sue Mawdsley, 'Supporting Spiritual Life in School'. Sue is Head teacher at, a culturally diverse Church of England school in the middle of Southport, Merseyside.
Day Conferences 2013
In 2013, we hosted our national Day Conferences in London and Bradford. Two Catholic priests from Malta were among the participants in London. Less than six months later, the first prayer space opened in a Maltese school.
1) Nicola Powell, 'Spiritual Development and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural learning)'. Nicola Powell is the founder and director of Primary Matters, which aims to 'make learning irresistible'. Primary Matters trains school staff to develop a teaching approach that is flexible, creative, engaging, relevant, connected and relational.
2) Tim Abbott, 'Prayer Spaces and Chaplaincy' Tim Abbott has been part of the national Prayer Spaces in Schools team since it began. He also leads CYO, a Christian youth and schools work charity in Colchester, where his team are pioneering a wide variety of innovative projects, including chaplaincies in various schools.
3) Zoe Moass, 'Student-led Prayer Spaces' At the time of the Day Conference, Zoe Moass was a 19-year old theology student at St Mellitus in London. She ran her first prayer space as a 17-year old, while she was in year-12 at Lady Margaret Academy. It changed her life.
4) Rachel Warwick, 'Prayer Spaces in Multi-faith Settings' Rach Warwick was one of the early prayer space pioneers. She is an ex-primary school teacher, the founder of Lunch and now works with Youthscape.
5) Amy Crick, 'Prayer Spaces and Pastoral Care'. Amy Crick is part of the CYO team in Colchester, where she has developed the successful Beloved course for year 9 girls team, and where she works as a chaplain.
6) Tim Hastie-Smith, 'Spiritual Development and Prayer Spaces' Tim Hastie-Smith was a Head teacher, and is now the Director of Scripture Union in England.
Here are a few of the things that Tim said that caught our attention;
“What we're doing with prayer spaces is creating a language which anybody at any age can use and that's why I think prayer spaces as a model is so compelling and so important.”
"The challenge to us is that willingness to be long-term in our commitment to schools - long term in relationships - and it is that we are working with children and young people in their development."
Day Conferences 2012
In 2012, we hosted our national Day Conferences in London and Leeds. We were visited by a teacher, youth-worker and a student from Germany. This 15-year-old student went back to host the first prayer space in a German state school a few months later, but that's another story.
1) David Howell, 'Aiming To Please: Serving The School Agenda And The Christian Agenda At The Same Time.' David Howell has been involved in Christian youth work for over 40 years, during which time he has led a variety of Christian youth ministries.
2) Lat Blaylock, 'Is It Possible To Serve The Agenda Of The School And The Agenda Of The Christian Community Together?' Lat Blaylock is editor of RE Today magazine and has written many resources, including Picturing Easter, Tackling Tough Questions, Picturing Jesus and Spiritual Engagement, a folder of ideas for 16-19 RE days. He taught RE, Humanities and PSHE in Leicester for 11 years.
Here are a few of the things that Lat said that caught our attention;
"I think a religious presence in any school, secular or church-linked, is legitimate."
"Coercion is immoral. As a Christian person sharing my faith in school, I'm not interested in coercion. I want (the message) to be so broad-minded and so open-hearted that any human being might respond to what is offered - a spiritual path in which you walk with Jesus. I want every possibility for every human taking a step in that direction."