“It made me feel closer to God somehow, just doing the activities made me feel closer.”
It has been an exiting time in the Diocese with prayer spaces at two schools. One of our church schools and the other a community primary school.
St Mary’s Church in Wales Primary School had it’s second prayer space. The first was earlier this year,with the success, the team were invited back, with the theme of Remembrance, to tie in the WW1 centenary. The team was made up from the congregation at St. Mary’s church, mixed with people from around the Ministry Area, working in partnership to deliver thoughtful activities.
- “It made me feel closer to God somehow, just doing the activities made me feel closer.”
- “It brings you closer to family and friends, curious of God and what he is like.”
- “I’m grateful that I didn’t live in the time of the war. I felt excited about going into the room because I love prayer.”
- “It made you feel like you were living back in the war and it made me understand how it was back then. It made me feel relaxed when I walked in and when I did some of the activities. I felt like God forgives my sins and I felt better. The activities made me think more than I ever have about the war before.”
A prayer space was also set up in Gilwern Primary, and teachers and headmaster alike all said how they were amazed at how the music room had been transformed.
The Headteacher commented, “I’d just like to confirm that the opportunity for the pupils to reflect upon the experiences of the soldiers from World War 1 and to use this to reflect upon their own lives was excellent. The programme was well planned and pupils engaged thoughtfully in a safe and supportive environment. The outcomes linked really closely to our school aims and objectives, where everything can be traced back to our strap line “Nurture, Empower, Achieve” ... As a Headteacher involved in Curriculum reform I’m really excited about the future of Welsh education ... Once again can I thank you for involving Gilwern and ask you to pass on my thanks to all who helped make the day such a success.”
Putting together this space has brought together people that would never have thought of being involved in such an extravagantly artistic and interactive environment. One volunteer said how being involved has been wonderful for her confidence and another said how they could never have imagined bringing such a space to a secular school. The volunteers have included a grandmother from the toddler group; and volunteers who have faithfully made very hard teeth breaking ration biscuits to depict the kind of food the soldiers ate and has brought his world war one collection for the children to view. Mums from the school wanted to be involved, as well as church wardens and congregational members across the ministry area turning up to be part of the project, or even just to help take down, pack away and set up.
The coordinator explained that, “It has been such a privilege to be involved in such an exciting initiative and this is a thank you to all of you who felt able to be part of this and to encourage anyone that feels this would be something they would like to be part of in the future. ”
These wonderful examples of prayer spaces in action can be replicated across the diocese and I encourage you to be involved with this wonderful initiative which is supported by the diocese through the work of Diocesan Director of Education.
John Meredith/ Nicci Bevan.