Being with God at South Wilford School
Being with God is increasingly becoming part of everyday life at South Wilford Church of England Primary School, thanks to a special Prayer Space Day which was held at the school on Monday 14th September.
Jill Edmonds, who has a role on their senior leadership team – with responsibility for Christian Distinctiveness – organised the day and explained: “We have a permanent Prayer and Reflection area with three or four activities set up for the children (and adults) to use. This happens mostly during playtimes and lunchtimes when it is manned by some of our older children who are called ‘Prayer Pals. It is also used during other times by children who need time out, space or comfort. This has had a very positive response, so the idea of having a whole day dedicated to everyone in our school community having some space and stillness, evolved from there.”
Now the school have involved their local church, St Wilfrid’s, and members helped to set up and run the eight activities.
Most of the activities or ‘Stations’ were areas of the school hall plus two other areas nearby.
Jill continued: “The adults in school had the opportunity to use the area before school, providing a much sought after sense of God’s peace and blessing in a busy place! Throughout the day each class is allocated a 20 – 30 minute slot to use the Space, and were accompanied by their class teacher and Teaching Assistant. The children had found out the sorts of activities during their Friday Assembly, and had time to think and choose which three stations to use.”
Jane Kelsall, member of St Wilfrid’s and a grandmother to two pupils at the school, helped on the day: “I love being around the children – love to hear them telling me about God and what they are thankful for…. we’ve been talking about friends… it takes you back to basics and it’s good to do that.”
The last session of the day was opened up to parents, toddlers and Governors to try the Prayer Spaces.
After the Prayer Space Day, Jill is setting up some of the stations in various places throughout the school building, giving more opportunity for people to use the stations, but also to make ‘Being with God’ a natural part of Wilford life.
“I am hoping this will in turn make all who touch our school aware of the importance of God being part of us. I would love to hear that other schools had made a start doing something similar, however small, by finding a small area and setting up a prayer activity!
“I’m already planning an outside version for some time next year, and a Foundation based experience for our younger members! “
Vicar of St Wilfrid’s, the Revd Phil Marsh took part in the day and added: “It’s been really good for us working together – the parish and Trent Vineyard – parents in partnership with school, providing children with a space to explore spirituality as a means for exploring faith.”