Moving the spirit.

Prayer spaces have come alive at Bishop Tyrrell this month led by our Child, Youth and Families worker Mr Mark Thornton. Prayer Spaces exist in all churches in one form or another and the Bishop Tyrrell Chapel has been transformed into a peaceful space for our students to experience wonder and awe.

The magic of prayer spaces puts children at ease and offers them the chance to talk to God and reflect on real life issues of concern to them. Mr Thornton and Christian studies teachers guide children through the process at each prayer space allowing their imagination to take them where they need to be at that time. Developing a meaningful prayer life is often difficult for children and prayer spaces tap into children’s creative thinking powers allowing them to see the spiritual side of everyday situations. One of the most powerful ways this is made manifest is in the experience of quiet.

Primary school children have written prayers for the homeless and those experiencing loss.  They have reflected on their worries and expressed sorrow. They have thought about something they would like to let go of and cast a pebble into the water to symbolically move on from that worry.

Younger students are given the opportunity to experience prayer in a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment. Free from distractions, the prayer space is an opportunity to practice gentleness, to be still and to attempt the discipline of prayer.  Older children focus on a sense of inclusiveness, self-response and gratitude.

Whilst the theme of the Prayer Space is broadly Christian, the Prayer Space includes all faiths and none. The Prayer Space approach does not preach and purposely seeks to encourage students to make their own meaning and draw their own conclusions.

Our hope at Bishop Tyrrell is that this experience allows young people to think deeply about prayer and the ways in which they can respond to a God who loves them.

Sue Bain