REV CHRIS RICHARDSON: Prayer can be dynamic or formal '“Â it's up to you
The curate ofÂ St Mary's Church, Alverstoke discusses a school's new Prayer Space
I wonder what you think of when you hear the word '˜prayer'?
PerhapsÂ it's someone with their eyes closed and their hands together or someone sayingÂ lots of formal words at the front of church.
Maybe, the Lord's Prayer comes to mind.
Prayer can actually be more creative, fun and engaging than you might think.
With this in mind, Alverstoke Church of England Junior School recently launched Prayer
Space in Schools.
This nationwide initiative enables children, of all faiths and none, to explore questions,Â spirituality and faith in a safe, imaginative and interactive way.
A team comprising both governors and members from the local church, St Mary's,Â Alverstoke, transformed one of the classrooms into a calm and relaxing space.
It hosted aÂ range of activities that encouraged personal reflection on issues such as forgiveness,Â injustice, thankfulness, big questions, identity and stillness.
In this environment, if they wanted to, the children were able to pray in creative, fun andÂ engaging ways.
For example, one activity involved moulding playdough into someone orÂ something that the children were thankful for and, if they wished, the children were able toÂ thank God for that person or thing.
Another activity involved placing their fingerprint, alongside everyone else's, on one giantÂ fingerprint.
Being reassured that no one else has their fingerprint, the children were thenÂ able to recognise that they are unique and wonderfully made, enabling them to thank GodÂ for this fact, if they wanted to.
It was delightful to see the children enjoy the opportunity to engage with issues such asÂ forgiveness, thankfulness, big questions and identity in a creative, relaxed and informal
They thoroughly engaged with the activities, enjoying the opportunity to explore eachÂ one of them, at their own level, as much as they wanted to.
Prayer can be many things. It can be still and it can be dynamic. It can be formal and it can
Essentially, it's communicating with God and we can do that in lots of differentÂ ways.
If you want to find out more about Prayer Spaces in SchoolsÂ then please visitÂ prayerspacesinschools.com.
St Mary's Church is in Green Road, Alverstoke, Gosport.
Call (023) 9258 0551 or go toÂ stmarysalverstoke.org.uk.