Chelsea Academy's Prayer Space in a Bag
As part of their Advent programme, Chelsea Academy, (Kensington Area), had a prayer space with a difference!
Given the challenges of setting up a ‘Covid-safe physical space when all areas of the school are being used to capacity, an imaginative solution was for all Year 7 and 8 pupils to receive a ‘prayer space in a bag.’ Each prayer bag contained 4 objects which were a basis for activities to help pupils reflect on the past year, look forward and bring their thoughts to God in prayer. As well as the objects (a thank you box, heart, ribbon and tealight), the pupils received a card with a message from the Bishop of Kensington, Rt Rev Graham Tomlin, and guidance for each activity, so they can keep using the prayer bags at home after having been led through the activities in school.
One pupil said, ‘The prayer bag made me reflect on things I don’t normally think about.’
Coordinated by Joanna Jones (Kensington Area Bishop’s Schools’ Chaplain) and Tim Richards (Chaplain at Chelsea Academy), local churches Holy Trinity Brompton and St Luke’s Sydney Street, who have links with the school, offered support with preparation and funding of the 360 bags. The HTB youth team also prepared a short, engaging film to introduce pupils to how and why we might pray. During these times when it is often not possible for visitors from churches to go into school, this was a brilliant way for the churches to support this initiative.
Chaplain Tim said,
'The prayer space bags are a fantastic resource; they enabled our students to reflect and think about the people in their lives who are truly important to them. The activities also enabled the students to pray for themselves, their loved ones and parts of the world which they care about.’
The activities encouraged the students to reflect on and, if they wished, to articulate their thoughts, hopes and fears at the end of what has been a tough year. As pupils take the prayer bags home, we hope they and their loved ones will know that they can bring anything and everything to God in prayer.
- By Joanna Jones