HUGE APOLOGIES
FOR THE LATENESS OF THIS POST WHICH WAS DUE TO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS

Hello everyone and welcome to our final posting for
2016. No doubt, like us, you are
wondering where the year has gone as the time seems to go quicker than ever –
even the younger generation are making the same comment! It seems to be a common experience that many
feel they are only just coping to keep their heads above water, and this has
been echoed by several members of staff in the schools we pray for. We appreciate the honesty of these dear
friends and it has been so humbling for us to reassure them of our prayers and
to commit to ‘stand in the gap’ for them, especially in those times of feeling
overwhelmed. It is such an encouragement
for us to know that for so many in our schools, our prayers do make a
difference. We were all very touched by
the words in an e-mail from a contact in one of our senior schools: “Many
thanks for praying and may God continue to bless you all for such a beautiful
and powerful ministry. Our schools need
prayer.”

Here are a few highlights from this past term:

MACMILLAN
COFFEE MORNING

Once again, we were delighted to support this very
special annual event which was hosted by a former member of our group and is a
cause very close to her heart. As well
as raising much valued funds it provided us with the opportunity of getting to
know people in our community and share about our group.

PRAY DAY
FOR SCHOOLS IN EUROPE

As the Spelthorne Schools’ Prayer Group, we were thrilled to
celebrate this special day – Tuesday 15th November – as we joined
with thousands of people across Europe to pray for all schools and
educational-related establishments. To mark this significant day, members
of our group visited each of the 23 school-related organisations, nurseries,
playgroups and schools we pray for, to present them with a gift which was an
expression of our continued commitment to pray for them. It also served
to deepen our friendship with them all, as well as thanking them for their
support of us. We were particularly blessed to be able to meet so many of
our school contacts and members of staff as it is always beneficial to put
faces to names. Here are some snap-shots (apologies for those that have come out side-ways – need some techi help on that!) and comments from our visits:

Victoria & Simon at the FACT Office


Biscuits received at Ashford CE
School

Cygnet’s Nursery at their news
premises

Tracey & Nisha at Roseacre Nursery

Head Teacher at
Littleton School Rachel Barton & B
lair from the new
Littleton Explorers Nursery

Amelda, Alison & Debbie at Springtime
Nursery

Co-Head Teacher Linda Mardell & Jo (Admin) at Manor Mead School

Louise & Des at Springfield School

We received some lovely expressions of gratitude for our
cards and gifts of the biscuits, and, more importantly, for our prayers. The following have really encouraged us all:

From St. Nicholas CE School:
‘Thank you and your group so much. It is so lovely to know the schools are
covered in prayer. The biscuits were hugely appreciated’.

One of the teachers at
Bishop Wand spoke with a member of our group saying, ‘Thank you dear ladies , you
are awesome! Your prayers are really appreciated & so needed , bless you
for your standing with us in prayer – it’s really needed & so so
appreciated. He said the biscuits went
down well and were such a witness of God’s love and care and helped boost
morale. He said one teacher said ‘Wow how lovely that we are cared about’.

BOOK FUND
– FAMILY QUIZ NIGHT

Saturday 12th November at Laleham Youth Centre
was the evening and place to be for a fun time when our knowledge and
observation skills were put to the test.
At times it was pretty intense with those ‘little grey cells’ working
over-time, so refreshments were most welcome during the break. This was our first fund-raising event of the
new term and we were extremely pleased to have raised £287 which will go
towards purchasing books for several of our infant and junior schools next
year. Our special thanks go to Rachel and Alan Morton for organising and
running the Quiz (Rachel is one of our group members and together with Alan
they run the youth group at their church as well as take assemblies in local
schools. Everyone, including the
children, enjoyed the evening, with one participant commenting “Congratulations to you and your team for a
lovely evening and what a wonderful total. It was a most enjoyable
evening and I am so pleased it was so successful.”

VI
SITS –
ROSEACRE & ST. PAUL’S 2nd
December

Our visit to Roseacre Nursery in Shepperton proved to be
such a delight for everyone – the children were so well-behaved and attentive,
and enjoyed the Christmas story beautifully shared by our team, Sally, Pauline,
Eileen and Rachel, plus Polly the Parrot of course, who is a regular visitor to
the Nursery!

On our whistle-stop tour that same day, we headed over to St. Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury where we were met by Becky Walker, the Chaplain. What a joy and great privilege it was to spend such a special time with her in the lovely Prayer Room at St. Paul’s. We are immensely grateful to Becky for not only inviting us but, moreover, for giving up her valuable time to share with us. We all agreed that it had been a real eye-opener to hear, first-hand, what life is like in a senior school in these times, which enabled us to grasp the issues and pressures that staff and students are faced with on a daily basis. It has definitely given us a fresh understanding of how to pray for those involved in secondary school education in a more meaningful way.

Chaplain at St. Paul’s Becky Walker
(centre) with group members Eileen (on left) & Val (on right)

NATIVITY PLAYS

It has been lovely to receive invitations from Ashford CE
School and Manor Mead School to attend their Nativity Plays – thank you so much
for including us. It is always very
pleasing for us to go into the schools and share such special times, which
provides the opportunity to actually see the children and staff we are praying
for.

In closing, on behalf of the group, I want to say a
heart-felt thank you to you all for your support of our group by reading our
postings and getting in touch from time to time. It is our very great privilege to pray for
those with whom we have contact, and we trust that they have felt strengthened
and uplifted by our prayers which we bring to an all-knowing God who loves to
hear the praises and prayers offered to Him on their behalf. We know for
sure that He has given us a heart for what we do in praying for them and that
shows us that they are very much in His heart. At this Christmas-time,
may we all have a fresh understanding of His great love for us all in the
sending of His Son, Jesus, who brings faith, hope and love into all our lives
when we let him into our hearts.

Have a truly blessed Christmas and a happy and peaceful New
Year.

Val Edwards,

Co-ordinator, Spelthorne Schools’ Prayer Group