Running a prayer space
Would you like to run a prayer space in a school, but are not sure how to get started? Prayer spaces enable children and young people of all faiths and none to explore spirituality, faith and life’s big questions in a safe, creative and interactive way. Catherine Clayton from Prayer Spaces in Schools summarises the Prayer Spaces in Schools nine-step guide to help you get started.
After ten years and many thousands of prayer spaces, we’ve noticed that the very best prayer spaces happen when the following steps are taken. On our website we have a detailed nine-step guide that will help you plan your first prayer space, here is a quick summary to help you get started.
- Explore our website. You will find lots of stories about prayer spaces that have happened, over 100 prayer activities to choose from, our nine-step guide, lesson plans, education guides, safeguarding guidelines and lots more!
- Serve the school. Prayer spaces work best when they are part of a long-term commitment to serving the local school in different ways. They need to be within a context of a relationship between the school community and a local church or churches.
- Register your prayer space. We love to hear about prayer spaces happening, so we can support you and encourage others with all that is happening.
- Choose a room. There are lots of great places you can host your prayer space such as a classroom, library, hall, marquee outside or even a small space like a breakout room. It is really important you have sole use of the space for the duration of your prayer space. You don’t want to be repeatedly dismantling and resembling it!
- Choose your prayer activities. There are over 100 activities on our website, but we recommend starting with our tried and tested top ten activities. Prayer spaces work best when they include a range of prayer activities themed around God, themselves, others and the world and also include a range of learning styles.
- Handpick your team and train them using the information on our website. Do feel free to get in touch with our team who can offer lots of support and advice. You could ask those who serve on church teams, ex-teachers, governors, parents and grandparents. Team members should have DBS clearance and be familiar with the school’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
- Publicise your prayer space. Encourage schools to invite parents and staff to visit the prayer space. Encourage local churches to pray and why not offer to lead an assembly beforehand.
- Run your prayer space for a day, a few days or a week. It could be for the whole school or a cross-section of the school. Set up the space, make sure you have a timetable from the school of when classes are visiting, prepare your team and use the lesson plans on our website to deliver the sessions.
- Gather feedback so you know what worked, what could have been better, what you could do next. Gather feedback from staff, your volunteer team and the pupils so you and the school can see the impact of the space. Summarise the feedback and themes in a short report for the school.
If you would like to visit a prayer space, need some help in hosting a training or if you have any questions at all please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. No question is too big or too small!
Catherine Clayton works for Prayer Spaces in Schools and helps churches across the Diocese to set up and run spaces in schools.