'I think the greatest impression was made on the staff, a few of whom had been skeptical or uncomfortable with the idea of prayer spaces. These teachers visibly thawed as they went round the activities with the children and in their feedback one teacher suggested they should include more about prayer on the curriculum.'Volunteer (England)

New Hope Conference - New Date

Mon, 05 Oct 2020 10:00 - Mon, 05 Oct 2020 15:00

Due to technical issues outside our control, the New Hope Schools Work Conference has been rescheduled from 21st September to 5th October. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope that you will be able to join us on the 5th.
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“It is our plan,” says the UK Government’s website, “that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term.”

So, it’s back to normal then? Well… not quite.

I have plans for you,” said the Lord to Jeremiah, “plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The Details

What is it?

An online Conference hosted by Prayer Spaces in Schools and Youthscape focusing on what Christian schools-work could look like in the coming academic year, and how we navigate our way through the current challenges. We’d love for you to join us.

When and Where?

Monday 5th October, starting at 10am and finishing by 3pm. Join us on YOUTUBE

What’s happening?

10.00 – 10.40 
Jill Rowe, ‘Being Bringers of Hope’
Jill qualified as a teacher and youth & community worker. Jill is part of the Oasis UK Leadership Team serving as the Director of Ethos & Formation. She is also a speaker and writer and can sometimes be heard doing Pause for Thought for BBC Radio 2. 


'Being Bringers of Hope'
During times of disruption and significant change it is vital that we are equipped to support the well-being of children and young people and to be bringers of hope. What does this look like in practice and how can we better understand that hope is both cognitive and active?

10.40 – 11.15
Bishop Paul Butler and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge,
‘A New Hope for Education'
Elizabeth became Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose on 20th January 2011. She is currently Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System at the Department for Education and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Women) at the Department for International Trade.

Paul Butler is Church of England, Bishop of Durham. His whole ministry has involved working with and for children and young people in a wider variety of ways. He has four adult children and is a very excited grandad to 1 grandson.



‘A New Hope for Education’
A conversation with Paul Butler, and Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, about their hope for education at this time, and the role that Christians can play in serving school communities.

11.30 – 12.15 Seminars
1. Aisha Thomas, ‘What do we do about the race issue?’
Aisha is a born and bred Bristolian. She studied law at the University before switching to education. Aisha became Assistant Principal at an inner city secondary school in Bristol. She is also an educational activist specialising in race. Aisha has presented a BBC documentary about the lack of black teachers in Bristol and she delivered her TEDx Bristol talk, ‘why representation really matters.’ Aisha has now founded an organisation called Representation Matters Ltd. She hopes to spread the message, far and wide...#representationmatters.

‘What do we do about the race issue?’
We need to have some difficult conversations - but where to start? How can we ensure that the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent outcry this summer isn't just a 'moment' but the beginning of lasting change?
And how can we, as Christians in schools, empower children and young people of colour? Join us for inspiration from Aisha Thomas.

2. Dr Kate Middleton, ‘Release and the new normal’
Kate is a psychologist with a particular interest in emotional health in the face of adverse circumstances and helping people release their full potential. She's Director of the Headstrong project (beheadstrong.uk), a director of the Mind and Soul Foundation, Assistant pastor at Zeo church, Hertfordshire, and also a speaker and author of several books.

‘Release and the new normal’
This term begins like no academic year before it, with schools, teachers and students attempting a return to some kind of normal whilst still in the midst of global pandemic. So how do you get back to normal when things are far from normal? How do you manage the inevitable challenges of this season of uncertainty? Is it possible, in this season of chaos and challenge, to enable students to release the true potential they hold - and how do we equip them with the resilience and grit they need to get through whatever this year is going to bring - never mind working out how to get through it ourselves? This practical seminar will help us understand why this season is perhaps unexpectedly challenging, and what the main steps we need to take are in order to navigate it well - for ourselves and those we support.

3. Phil Togwell, ‘Prayer Spaces in a Covid World’
Phil lives on the North-East coast of England with his family (wife and three daughters). Phil trained and worked in a wide range of Youth & Community settings before serving as 24-7 Prayer's UK director for 7 years. He now leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams.


‘Prayer Spaces in a Covid World’
What is a prayer space in a school? How does a prayer space work? How do the new guidelines affect how I run a prayer space? A short presentation from Phil, and then some time to share and swap creative ideas!

4. David Akers and Andrew Bull, ‘Back to School: facing the challenges, exploring the opportunities’

David Akers has been in teaching for 20 years, a headteacher for the last 4.  At Ward Jackson, we have lots of challenges to overcome because of the socio-economic make-up of the area.  As a Christian and a school leader I believe it’s key that we bring hope and light into the darkness, to share the good news of Christ through all that we say and all that we do.  

Andrew Bull spent his formative years in Holland and Belgium and moved to London when he was 18 . Whilst studying Theology and Religious Studies and Sport and Exercise Science he met Angie and together they have 6 children and are based in Acton.  Andrew is a leader an ecumenical charismatic community and runs the Ministry of the Word and music in the Parish of Our lady of Lourdes. He is a Headteacher in a large Catholic secondary school in Luton, Cardinal Newman.  Andrew loves music and continues to attempt to play rugby for Wasps most weekends.

‘Back to School: facing the challenges, exploring the opportunities’
A conversation with two Head teachers (one primary, one secondary) about the challenges and the unique opportunities that schools will face this term as they adapt to the 'new normal', and about how local Christians can serve their whole school communities.

5. Josh Hunt, ‘Hope, for one and for all!’
Josh has been the Chaplain to Felixstowe School since 2014 and is about to complete a PhD exploring the role of the chaplain in relation to school ethos. This chaplaincy operates in a school of no religious character and is delivered by Boost- a small charity pioneering partnerships between the school and local churches.


‘Hope, for one and for all!’
Emerging from Josh's recent research into school chaplains and school ethos, this seminar explores how we can bring hope on an individual basis, but also collectively to the whole school community. As we move forward together, how can we embrace our distinctiveness as chaplains to embody the hope needed for individuals and communities to flourish?

12.45 – 13.30 Seminars
1. David Walford, ‘Can we endure?’
David helps lead Youthscape’s faith development work on the ground in Luton and is the coordinator for SchoolsworkUK, helping to equip and resource schools’ workers across the country. Passionate about seeing how the Church can make a real and lasting contribution to education both in the curriculum and across the whole school community; David spends a lot of time finding creative ways to engage students in unusual places in schools such as school atriums, dinner queues and unloved school corridors.

‘Can we endure?’
With collective worship and assemblies no longer happening and external visitors deemed too dangerous in many risk assessments, does this spell the end of our work within education? This current landscape where many of us can’t step into school could prove one of the most challenging for our schools’ ministries to endure. In this seminar David will explore several different models, such as Third Space, that could help our schools work continue to support students in this present crisis.

2. Dr Kate Middleton, ‘Loss and Lockdown’
Kate is a psychologist with a particular interest in emotional health in the face of adverse circumstances and helping people release their full potential. She's Director of the Headstrong project (beheadstrong.uk), a director of the Mind and Soul Foundation, Assistant pastor at Zeo church, Hertfordshire, and also a speaker and author of several books.

‘Loss and Lockdown’
One of the biggest challenges of this time, as we emerge out of strict lockdown, is the need to process loss. Loss is everywhere, from the more stark loss of bereavement to the losses of key life moments, and changes to things we thought we could always depend upon: friendships, perceptions of our own security and stability and the nature of everyday life. So how do we process loss well, particularly when it is unexpected - ourselves, and for young people we are supporting? How do we find time to grieve whilst still getting on with the (considerable!) challenges of life moving on in this unusual time? And what does the Bible have to offer as we try to find ways to deal with and respond to the loss that is all around? This seminar will explore the nature of loss in lockdown and help provide a framework to respond to the range of ways people of all ages are experiencing it.

3. Catherine Simpson, ‘Part of the furniture’ – Primary school chaplaincy
Catherine is part of the Mission, Discipleship and Ministry team with the Diocese of Durham, focusing on the Growing Faith project. Catherine has spent the last five years working at St Anne’s CE Primary school in Bishop Auckland as their school chaplain. 


‘Part of the furniture’ – Primary school chaplaincy
Catherine will be sharing her learning and experience of being a primary school chaplain for the last seven years and exploring ‘schools work’ from this perspective and how our churches might serve and join in with our school communities in some different ways!

4. Lucie Shuker, ‘We Do God’ – Experiential Apologetics
Dr Lucie Shuker is Director of the Youthscape Centre for Research where her research has covered youth ministry in the Anglican church, youth loneliness, and Christian practice amongst youth workers.  She lives in Luton where she is involved in church leadership, spiritual direction and inter-faith work to address child sexual exploitation. She enjoys ‘researching’ the local chicken and chip shops.

‘We Do God’ – Experiential Apologetics
From hospitality to forgiveness, rest to lament, Christians have participated in practices over many centuries that speak of God’s goodness and help us encounter His love and life. How can we invite children and young people in schools to experience these things for themselves? Drawing on recent research from the ‘We do God’ report, Lucie will explore the role of ‘experiential apologetics’ in schools, and ask you to consider which practices might help children experience God’s life, in your own context.

13.45 – 14.20 Session 3
Esther Deans, ‘How can we use the current climate and BLM conversations to bring us closer together?
As a Jamaican growing up in London Esther understood equality issues from a young age and benefited from having BME teachers to guide her that changed her life. She has since been Chair of SARI, Chair of SACRE, and with The Very Revd Dr John Hall (Dean of Westminster), part of the Commission on Religious Education to advise the government on the RE curriculum. While still teaching full time, Esther is currently  part of 12 Mayoral Commissioners for CORE, Chair of REEG, and Education Lead in the One Bristol Curriculum.

‘How can we use the current climate and BLM conversations to bring us closer together?
If education is a preparation for life, let us look at what schools can do to prepare pupils to build a more equal, harmonious and hopeful society for us all.

14.20 – 15.00 Session 4
Rachel Gardener, ‘Hope is Here’.
Rachel is Director of Partnerships at Youthscape. Her background as a youth worker involved developing Romance Academy, a national project to promote healthy relationships with young people, which kickstarted with a series on the BBC. Rachel is also the President of The Girls Brigade, passionate about helping young people, especially, young girls, to develop their confidence and identity, writing several books, such as The Girl Deconstruction Project that explore those ideas. She has recently moved north with her family to help lead a church in Preston.

‘Hope is Here’.
At a time when all hope was lost, God seemed to be making matters worse. ‘Tell my people they’re going to be in exile for years to come,’ God told Jeremiah. ‘It’s not going to be easy, but I know the plans I have for them. Plans to give them a future and a hope…’ There is a powerful call on our lives to be those who hold onto hope not only for ourselves, but also for those who feel hopeless. We can only do this if we’re holding onto the God who knows how to bring life and flourishing even in the most difficult of circumstances. We’re closing our day with a bold reminder that ultimately, the greatest thing we can do in support of our schools is to rest on the faithfulness and goodness of God whose presence in us, is the Hope for the world.

Remind me how much it costs to register?

Prayer Spaces in Schools and Youthscape are co-hosting this Conference for free – there is no booking fee to pay. There will be more information available on the day about how you can donate.

If you have any questions about the Conference, please feel free to get in touch with us at tandia@prayerspacesinschools.com. We’ll see you there!

Book your ticket here

Location: Youtube and Zoom
Organiser: Prayer Spaces in Schools and Youthscape
Email: tandia@prayerspacesinschools.com
Website: www.newhope2020.eventbrite.com

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