"It was one of the most effective sessions I have seen during my career. The ethos in the lesson was superb and the gentle interaction between adults and children was heart-warming! Too often schools give into Ofsted pressures and neglect the spiritual needs of their students. The prayer space is a unique way of redressing the balance."Head teacher (Ulveston, Cumbria)

‘I enjoyed sharing my prayers with others.’

Hollie is the Pastoral Assistant for Families at Wadhurst Parish Church. Hollie regularly works with the Star Gazers group (set up by Mrs Coles) in her local primary school, the Star Gazers meet regularly and write prayers for their school. Hollie tells us about the first prayer space they ran at Wadhurst Primary.

‘I was very excited to be invited back to the Star Gazers of Wadhurst Primary to help them set up their first prayer space.  Each term there is focus on a particular Christian value, and this term it was ‘endurance’.  We decided that this would be the focus of our prayer space.

I met with the students once a week as we planned the prayer space. During the first session we began to gather ideas together about what endurance means and thought of activities that require endurance. We thought about athletes and the training that they do, our friends in Burundi; a school that we support; the children have to walk many miles to collect clean drinking water.  The children also thought of their school work and challenging themselves with solving puzzles.

We then divided the tasks up and we began work on activities for the prayer space. The children have a short amount of time during their lunch break to attend Star Gazers; each week, they came and we saw the ideas take shape, until it was ready!  A table was positioned outside the school hall with the various activities, word puzzles, number puzzles, active challenges. There were pencils set out ready, and a lovely board behind it with pictures of running shoes, containing prayers the children had written.

The children were really pleased with the prayer space and made sure it always looked good and there were plenty of pencils there. They also enjoyed getting feedback from each other and other pupils. They interviewed one another, to find out what people found helpful about the prayer space.

It was a great first topic for a prayer space, especially in the term leading up to Easter.  We had a lego puzzle on the table as part of a bible verse puzzle, reminding us of Jesus. Jesus lived a human life and endured many troubles that we ourselves go through. We can pray to God for help enduring all things and we can find encouragement in the bible from the life of Jesus.

It was a thoughtful first prayer space, with great planning lead by the children from start to finish.  Star Gazers did a display for the church, to let everyone know about their prayer space and they can’t wait to get stuck into the next theme for the summer term and create a new prayer space.

Hollie Butler, Pastoral Assistant for Families at Wadhurst Parish Church
Mrs Coles, Star Gazers Teacher

The student’s were given the opportunity to write a bit about their thoughts on the prayer space journey. Here's one story:
'There are about 16 people in senior stargazers and we all get on really well. In stargazers we write prayers, to do with out Christian values which at the moment is endurance. We are a mixture of year 4 and year 5 and we have also made decisions around the school. We have been in the courier paper and have been working on the endurance table. Mrs Butler helped us on most of our projects. Stargazers have worked really hard and I can't wait for what’s to come.'

Here are some students comments:

‘I enjoyed working together as a team.’

‘I enjoyed helping people and cheering them up.’

‘I enjoyed sharing my prayers with others.’


Posted on 21st April 2017

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