Prayer Space – First for St John's – First for Australia
Prayer Space at St John’s Anglican College, welcomed by students and staff alike……
Reverend Susan, our School Chaplain, had timed our very first Prayer Spaces in Schools to come after the Year Six cohort had spent two days at the secondary school preparing for their transition from primary to secondary in 2015. As we gathered to enter the Prayer Space you could feel the students were quietly excited. They were buzzing with all their new experiences at the secondary school and excited that school was just about to finish for the year.
As they entered the Prayer Space we heard gasps of “wow!” You could see their eyes light up and widen as they tried to take in the transformed chapel. We had arranged four stations based on the Prayer Spaces in Schools site for transition. Each station was divided by different coloured fabric and fairy lights which created a wonderland. As they settled into the stations you could feel gentle peace and tranquillity descend on the chapel. The students sat and quietly listened to Year 10 students as they explained what to do. The Year Six students were reminded that this was not a task to be completed; there was no pass or fail. The Prayer Space was an opportunity for them to reflect and pray in a different way.
At the end of the time we prayed together then we asked for feedback. One student said, “Could we have this every term?” Another said, “I loved the peace and quiet.” Followed by, “I loved that we respected each other’s belief and space.” And, “I loved stopping for a little while.” And from a St John’s teacher, “I enjoyed being part of the journey.” Another teacher reported later how peaceful the children were when they returned to class. The Year 10 students who helped create the Prayer Space wanted to know when we are going to create Prayer Spaces at the secondary school. And a wonderful parting comment, “we don’t want to leave!” That said it all.
The next day we were having our final chapel service for the year and the Prayer Space would be gone. But for one last part of their journey from the primary to secondary, we decorated the back wall of the chapel with their creations to remind them of their journey.