Here's where it all begins. Everything you need to get started.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Are you a church member or a children’s or youth worker? Are you a teacher or maybe involved in schools in some other way? Are you a student? Whoever you are, we’re delighted that you’re here, and that you’re about to start a(nother) Prayer Spaces in Schools adventure. Our aim is to equip and encourage you to host an amazing prayer space, and to help you serve the wider spiritual life of your local school.
Please take your time to work through each of these nine steps, one at a time - after more than 3500 prayer spaces, we're confident in this process, and we're pretty confident that you’ll find everything you need to host the best possible prayer space in your school. However, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, or you just want to talk some more, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you get into the nitty-gritty details, here are a few Top Tips;
Top Tip 1. Read some stories.
Stories fuel our imagination. Finding a prayer space story from a school that’s similar to yours will probably help you to imagine your own prayer space. Visit the STORIES page to read about the latest prayer spaces - maybe print a few and give them to your friends, colleagues, or send the web-links to those who you would like to persuade to join with you?
“The prayer space has been brilliant for my students. A personal, spiritual and peaceful experience for all groups: I highly recommend it.” Head of R.E.
“I loved this place, it was so relaxed. It gave me a chance to say how I really felt as I don't really talk with my family.” Year 6 student
"I've never seen prayer displayed or experienced like this before. It's made me realise how many different ways prayer can be appreciated. It's opened up religion into my life again. Thank you!" 6th Form student
Top Tip 2. Explore this website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
If you haven’t already seen it (or you’d like to watch it again), here’s the Prayer Spaces in Schools promo video.
If you use social-media, follow these links to ‘like’ our Facebook page, and ‘follow’ us on Twitter and Instagram. These pages are good for connecting with those who are hosting prayer spaces in their local schools, and for viewing ‘live’ photos from prayer spaces. Come and join in the conversations.
To watch our promotional and prayer activity videos visit Vimeo. And to watch videos from prayer spaces around the UK, visit YouTube. If you’ve posted any of your own prayer space videos onto YouTube or onto a blog, please let us know.
Top Tip 3. Go to a training workshop.
Visit our TRAINING & EVENTS pages regularly for a list of the upcoming workshops, conferences and training events that the Prayer Spaces in Schools team and our regional Networkers are involved in, including some that we’re hosting and organising ourselves. Hopefully, you will find one that isn’t too far from you.
These events are always good, not only for the story-telling and the training content, but also for the opportunities to meet people who have hosted, or are hosting, prayer spaces in local schools. It’s always good to learn from other people’s experiences, and also to find new people to collaborate with.
Top Tip 4. Host a training workshop, or let's have a coffee.
If you can't find a training workshop near you, perhaps you could organise one where you are? Our team and regional Networkers have a lot of experience in delivering a wide range of seminar-style, discussion-based or interactive training events to fill a whole or half day, an hour-session or even a coffee-shop conversation, and we’d love to come and help you if we can.
We’ve run workshops and training events for local schools and local churches, children’s work and youthwork conferences, Diocesan networks and national Christian organisations, etc. Themes have included;
- Story-telling and the vision behind Prayer Spaces in Schools
- Getting started, how to host a first prayer space (in primary and/or secondary schools)
- Recruiting and training a prayer space team
- Creating your own prayer activities/spiritual resources
- Values and theology of prayer spaces
- Supporting the ongoing spiritual life of school communities, incl. chaplaincy and permanent prayer spaces
- Prayer space outcomes, incl. spiritual, behavioural, pastoral, educational
If you’d like one of our team or regional Networkers to come and help you with a training event, we would ask that you be prepared to cover their travel expenses. If the training event is for a church or a Diocese network or a Christian organisation, etc. we can suggest fees to cover time, preparation and resources, and we're happy to discuss this with you. Please contact us on email@example.com and let’s talk.
Top Tip 5. Visit a prayer space.
Some people feel inspired, equipped and ready-to-go when they read ‘how to’ instructions, or when they read stories - they relate to what they read, and they can imagine doing something similar. But some people need to see it to believe it. One of the best ways to get started with your first prayer space is to visit another one, to see it in action. Or at least to meet with someone who has hosted a prayer space nearby.
One of the reasons that we try to keep track of all the prayer spaces as they happen is so that we can help you to connect up with others who are hosting, or have hosted, prayer spaces near you. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help you make some local connections.
Top Tip 6. Pray.
Lastly (or perhaps firstly?), to get off to a good start, it's good to pray. Talk with God about the school that you’re thinking about, the one that you have some connections with already, and listen to what God says. Ask God to guide you into the right conversations with the right people at the right time.
And may the adventure continue.