Matt's blog

“ Prayspace Days 3 & 4 - King Edward VI Upper School, Weds / Thurs 19/20th June 2013 ”

Friday, 21st June 2013 - 09:53

It's been a pretty intense two days - Wednesday especially with classes coming through every session of the day and then a twilight session for governors and RE colleagues. The room is looking great!

The whole of the governing body came along to see the room on Wednesday after school, along with Frank Field MP who was due to give a lecture at 5pm that evening. The response from them was very positive. I was especially pleased that one of the governors is a teacher at a middle school in town who has gone away to tell her Head to bring Prayspace into their school!

We continue to have great conversations with students over the Together prayer station - where they make a plasticine model of themselves and reflect on how they see themselves, how others see them and how God might see them. And it doesn't seem to matter if the students are year 5s in a middle school or year 12 Philosophy and Ethics students - it is proving beneficial and revealing for them all! Sarah joined us for a full day in Prayspace for the first time on Wednesday and particularly enjoyed chatting with the year 12s. They are currently studying Religious Experience so the arrival of Prayspace was well-timed! It was also great to have an opportunity to talk to them about our own spiritual experiences. Sarah and also Emma Malcolm from West Road did a great job of talking about various types of God encounters they have had and answering students' questions. I would love to work on ways of doing more with students of this age range. Their maturing, questioning, reflective and perceptive responses were a joy, and I wonder if having these 'not learning' times is particularly beneficial as they spend so much of their time facing up to exam pressure, decisions for their educational future, school and parental expectation... Plenty to think on.

On Thursday we were joined for the morning session by Alison Burgess from Southgate Community Church who had never been to Prayspace before but was a great addition to the team for the morning and really enjoyed it. It was a wet lunch time and we saw around 40 students come in and out of the room - a big change from the quiet lunch times so far, which was great! A group of 5 year 12 girls stayed and talked as they made their plasticine models, which they arranged in a circle to show their friendship group. As many of the other students have at this prayer station, they really affirmed one another and talked warmly about their friendship, which was lovely to see and be a part of.

The new 'Journey' prayer station continues to produce some very raw prayers - of hurt, confusion, sadness and also joy and thankfulness. We've been really moved as we've read them - and once again our thoughts turn to the pastoral implications of Prayspace and possibilities around chaplaincy. Still a future aspiration, I feel, but one that we will continue to dream about and pray into.

Praying for a great final day...