- "I really like the 'Doves of Peace' because I had time to look a the map and think about the place I wanted to pray for."
- "I loved the doves because it meant I could pray for my Grandma who lives far away. It was fun finding places on the map."
- "I loved the Fizzy space because I was able to have some time on my own to think about the hurt thing I wanted to let go of and ask God to help me. It was so peaceful and fun watching the tablet fizz."
- "My favourite prayer station was 'Fizzy Forgiveness' because it helped me to think about what had happened to me, to forgive and to forget. I liked the feeling of letting go of the hurt as the tablet fizzed away."
- "It felt so peaceful letting go of my hurt."
- "This space helped me to think about what is worrying me and then ask God about it."
- "I like the 'Big Question' space because I did not realise it was ok to ask God anything."
- "I loved this prayer space because it was fun making the pipe cleaner person and helped me to think about a person I was a bit worried about and say a prayer for them. It felt helpful."
- "Pipe cleaner people was really helpful because it was fun but at the same time you could think about those special people and animals in your life and quietly pray for them. I loved it because one of my friends made a person to represent God and gave them long arms because my friend thought God would like to give lots of hugs to comfort people."
- "I liked the hurdle because it meant I could explain what is going on in my life and ask for God's help."
- "It is really calm in here. I really like it."
- "I felt I could talk to God with no interruption or judgement."
- "Peaceful, happy, calm, thankful."
- "I liked feeling I could get away and just be quiet and think."
- "This is absolutely wonderful. It's a shame we don't have this all the time. The children need this." (Comment from member of staff)
Pop-up prayer space at St Michael's School
A pop-up Prayer Space was recently created at St Michael's Primary School in Winterbourne by members of St Michael's Church. Jo Strange, Pastoral Family Liaison Minister at the church, looks back on how pupils and staff engaged with it:
"This was the first Prayer Space run in St Michael's Primary School. It was designed, created and resourced by St Michael's Church in liaison with the school staff. All students in Reception to Year 5 had the opportunity to visit the space during the two days.
"The variety of prayer activities in the Prayer Space were designed to encourage students to pause, take time to think, reflect and pray for key concepts and to enjoy the quiet, calm space. Topics such as saying sorry, letting go of hurts, thinking of places in the world where the children would like to pray for peace, and the 'Big Questions' they would like to ask God were a few of the activities included in the space.
"All the children had the freedom to visit all the prayer stations in their own time, and in whatever order they chose. Adults were available to support, particularly the younger children, if the children felt they needed some guidance, but the children were encouraged to own and use the calm space as their own."
This station gave children the opportunity to think about those places in the world where they would like to pray for peace.
They then took a small wooden dove - a symbol of peace - and placed it on the part of the world they were thinking of and, as they did so, were invited to say a silent prayer for that place.
This prayer station gave the children an opportunity to quietly think about a hurt they were feeling and, if they chose to, ask God for help to let go of that hurt and forgive the person who had hurt them. It may have been a nasty comment that had hurt them; being excluded from a friendship group; or anything else that they felt hurt by.
When they were ready to let go of the hurt, they were invited to drop a vitamin C tablet into a container of water and watch it fizz away completely. As it did so, they could picture their hurt fizzing away and them forgiving the other person.
This prayer space gave the children and staff the opportunity to think of what questions they would like to ask God. It was made clear to them that they could ask God anything at all and then peg their question on the 'Big God Questions' washing line.
This space invited children to think of someone they knew who may be in need of help at the moment, maybe someone with worry or someone who is unwell.
The children were invited to make a pipe cleaner model of that person and then, as they attached it to the prayer net, they could silently say a prayer for the person or situation.
The students were asked to feedback their thoughts following their visit to the Prayer Space: