“We are very pleased with the prayer space in our school. It worked out real depth, and shows who we are as a school. We’re always looking for opportunities to help the students to think about the meaning of life and the prayer space helps to form their identity. It’s an important consideration that I make everyday as manager: What suits this school at this time? The prayer space fits well within the task we have in the areas of socialization, personal development and civic education of our students. The prayer space was way more than just a quiet room. Often you see that those spaces are empty and not in use. But this time it was really alive."Bas Bastiaanse, School Director (Netherlands)

Supporting Spiritual Life

"Our aim is to inspire and equip churches to serve the spiritual and pastoral life of their local school communities. We believe that prayer spaces are a fantastic way to get started." Phil Togwell

Week-long prayer spaces often provoke conversations about something more permanent. For example, here are a few quotes from recent stories;

  • "Some staff have now begun to think about the lasting effect that a permanent prayer space within the school or school grounds might have, despite our lack of space indoors. When you see something that can help bring such peace and calm, it is hard to ignore it, isn‘t it?"
  • "We are continuing to work with the school to develop a permanent space/room."
  • "The teachers said that a space like this should be provided more often and even that their students had been returning to class more peaceful."

All over the UK, having experienced the positive impact that a week-long prayer space has on spiritual and pastoral life of their whole community, schools and churches are increasingly working together, e.g. after-school cafés, lunchtime groups, mentoring programmes, chaplaincy teams, regular or even permanent prayer spaces, bereavement support, workshop series, classroom assistance, etc.

Here are a few examples;

1. Interview with Lisa Wigmore, curate, Bristol

2. Interview with Tim Abbott, director CYO, Colchester

3. Interview with Sue Croft, head teacher, Oxford

4. Interview with Charl Harman, chaplain, Stanford-le-Hope

5. Interview with Chris Blockley, chaplain, Gloucester

(A huge thank you to Sheddocksley Baptist Church in Aberdeen for funding these five videos, and to Nick Jones/filma-king for shooting and editing them.)

Over the coming weeks, this section of the website will include:

  • Links to stories about prayer spaces that have become a key part of developing the spiritual life in school.
  • Case studies from around the UK, e.g. Prayer spaces and chaplaincy (in both primary and secondary schools), Permanent prayer spaces (again, in both primary and secondary schools), Prayer spaces and other ongoing projects.
  • Top Tips: What to do when a school wants a permanent prayer space?
  • Top Tips: What to do when a school wants to develop a chaplaincy team?
  • A template role description for a school chaplain.