It is probably difficult
for us all to realize that another academic year is at its end! Our prayer topic for the month of July has
been ‘Celebrations & Achievements’ – a very fitting theme on which to
complete the school year, with much to celebrate and give thanks for.

MEETINGS
We are delighted to report
that our ‘new look’ meetings have established well and we have been extremely
blessed to have been joined by 4 new members.
The decision to have specific topics for each monthly meeting has been
well received by our schools with many of their requests being centred on each
one.

We have been greatly
privileged to be joined by ‘guest
speakers’ at two of our meetings: in
March (Mental Health Issues), we welcomed Elizabeth Argent from East to West (www.easttowest.org) who shared about the ‘Emerge Project’ which she
heads up. It is based in the A & E
Department of St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, and offers support to young
people (and their families) who have been involved with self-harming or
attempted suicide. As you will imagine, this was a most enlightening time as
well as challenging, and helped us grasp a deeper understanding regarding
praying for youngsters who suffer in this way.
In May we were joined by Catherine Clayton who gave us a most
informative and thought-provoking presentation on Prayer Spaces in Schools
(www.prayerspacesinschools.com). Following on from that meeting, three of the group had the opportunity
of putting into practice what Catherine had shared, when we helped with a
Prayer Spaces event at Ashford CE School. We found it a
joy and a privilege to be involved and welcomed the chance of getting alongside
the children, finding out how they perceive God and prayer, and watching them
engaging in the various prayer stations which led to some interesting and
thought-provoking conversations.

For our July meeting, the Head Teacher of Laleham CE School
(Neil Meehan) invited us to meet at his school where we had the unexpected
pleasure of attending the KS1 children’s assembly. We were given a very warm welcome and it was
explained to the children who we are and what we do – quite an honour for us!

LET THE CHILDREN HAVE THEIR SAY!

In our previous post we shared our desire to ascertain what the children
want us to pray for, rather than assume we know! We prayed about this and left it to God to
show us how this might work out. He didn’t disappoint, and as soon as the New
Year started, one of our group was asked to take on the role of Chaplain at one
of our senior schools to cover the regular Chaplain during a sabbatical
term. Much of this involved a great deal
of personal contact with students. In
April two of our nurseries (Roseacre & Springtime) invited us
to spend a morning sharing the good news of Easter, and a further visit was
made in June, with the theme ‘God made me and I am special’. It is always a joy to engage with these
little ones and witness their honesty and openness in sharing about themselves
and their understanding of God and Jesus.

PRAY FOR SCHOOLS FORTNIGHT

This year the topic was ‘Lord, Teach Us To Pray’ and focused on the
words of The Lord’s Prayer. As in
previous years we highlighted this event amongst our nurseries, pre-schools and
schools by taking in a card or sending an e-card which included a prayer for them in their specific
roles. Some also took in a gift of
chocolates, biscuits or a plant. Administrator Jean Dene at Beauclerc Infant School received a rose plant which was planted in the wildlife/Forest School area by the children from Yellow Class.

The following appeared in our local special needs school’s newsletter
with a photo of Alice Chandler, Assistant Head Teacher at Manor Mead
School
.

“We are thankful to the Schools’ Prayer Group who presented us with a
beautiful rose for ‘Pray for Schools Fortnight’, a particular focus time
when they pray and keep us in their thoughts.”

BOOKS
FOR SCHOOLS

We were
thrilled to once again donate Scripture Union books to many of our schools, and
our grateful thanks go to churches and individuals who supported the placement
with financial donations.

We
wish you a safe, enjoyable and refreshing summer holiday and look forward to
sharing with you in September as we commence a new school year. If you would like any further information
about the group, please contact Val Edwards:
info@schoolsprayergroup.org.