"Prayer Spaces in Schools is a pioneering initiative providing young people with a dynamic, non-threatening environment in which to explore the Christian faith. This is an exciting new model for religious education which is proving popular with teachers, youth workers and children."Rev Nicky Gumbel (Holy Trinity Brompton, Alpha International)

“I am a Catholic Priest. Would it be possible to meet someone of your team?"

“Dear brothers and sisters,” wrote Fr. Michael Scharf, back in May 2013. “I am a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Vienna, responsible for founding a ministry within the Catholic Church that teaches children how to live a life of prayer and discipleship.

I know the 24-7 Prayer movement and a friend of mine shared about the Prayer Spaces in Schools. I am pretty much interested in starting prayer spaces in Catholic schools within our Diocese. I will be in London soon. Would it be possible to meet someone of your team during this days?”

Michael and Phil Togwell met in a coffee shop in London a few weeks later and they talked about how prayer spaces could work in Austrian schools. Neither of them had any idea of what was about to happen though…

Forward-wind four years… there have been around 100 prayer spaces in Austrian schools so far – in both Catholic schools and state schools - and more than half of those have taken place in the last year. The interest is growing, fast.

Last week, Phil travelled to Salzburg for a day (?!) to meet with Michael, and with Franz Greisberger who leads Katholische Jugend Salzburg. Franz’s teams call their prayer spaces ALIVE! and they’ve been hosting them all over Salzburg – watch this video of ALIVE! at the Futurespirit Festival.

Phil, Michael, Franz and some of Franz’s team had a great time discussing how to move from ‘addition methods/strategies’ to ‘multiplication methods/strategies’ – our aim is to serve, support and equip those getting started with prayer spaces in schools right across the country.


Posted on 27th March 2018

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