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Prayer Group News

Summer Term News

Sep '14 - Aug '15 Posted on Thu, July 16, 2015 22:34:00

Well,
here we are, at the end of another school year and with much to be thankful
for. You will have read in our previous
postings, of the amazing opportunities that have come our way over the past
year – some rather scary which has definitely shaken us out of our comfort zone
– yet what joy we have experienced in obeying God’s call to ‘step out’ and very
much lived out the Bible verse ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me
strength’!

Since
our last update we have had the very great privilege of taking an assembly at Littleton CE Primary School in June
which preceded us being involved in their Prayer Spaces Day. Eight of our group
joined Rev. Tim Rose from St. Mary Magdalene Church in Littleton to help
encourage the children to think about how God cares for them, to consider how
they might care for others and how God cares for our world and wants them to
care for it too. Various activities were
enjoyed which reinforced these concepts, and everyone had a wonderful fun time.
The day was full-on yet very rewarding, and it was just great to interact with
the children and see their faces full of wonder as they considered that God
cares for them, holds them in the palm of His hand, and loves them so
much. We felt the day was summed up beautifully by a young boy who told
his teacher “that was the best learning day ever”!

The group holding a prayer meeting at Littleton CE School – many of whom took part in the assembly and Prayer Spaces Day.

During
May and June it was our very great pleasure to donate 390 copies of the ‘Get Ready Go’ book to the incoming
Reception Year children and 270 copies of the ‘It’s Your Move’ book to the
current Year 6 pupils at several of the schools we pray for. It’s always good to have feed-back on this book
placement and we were encouraged to receive the following from a Mum whose
child will be starting school in September:
“Just received the lovely book for my daughter at
school, Get Ready Go. What a fantastic gift. Thank you.”

Throughout
the year we organise various fund-raising events to enable us to give the books
to the schools and, once again, we thank God for ensuring that the money has
come in for yet another year – from our fund-raising events and also very
generous donations from kind friends who support our group in marvellous ways.

Books being received at Ashford CE School……….

…….Chennestone Primary School………

……Saxon Primary School…….

….St. Ignatius RC Junior School

Our final fund-raising event of the school year took place on a lovely
summer’s evening early in July when we held a ‘Wimbledon Desserts Evening’,
with Pimm’s and plenty of strawberries being served. One of the 21 people who attended commented: “Thank you for a
truly lovely evening last Friday and heartiest congratulations on raising such
a good figure for the Schools’ Prayer Group. We were so lucky this
year with lovely weather and combined with wonderful hosts and delightful
guests, how could the evening not be ‘game, set and match’.”

We
wish you all a very happy and safe summer and look forward to sharing with you
again next September when we embark on another school year and look forward to learning
what God has planned for us then!

If
you would like further information about the group, please do contact us as we
would love to hear from you.



Summer Term News

Sep '14 - Aug '15 Posted on Mon, June 15, 2015 22:03:23

Hello
everyone and welcome to our ‘Summer Term’ posting. We know that this is an extremely busy term
for so many, including those involved in SAT’s, GCSE’s, AS’s & A2’s plus
the unannounced Ofsted inspections which often come at the least convenient
times! We wish all involved much
deserved success. Thankfully, these events are balanced by more enjoyable ones
such as various trips, special activities, sports days, concerts and
celebrations of achievements.

As a
Schools’ Prayer Group, we too have had a busy couple of months with many doors
of opportunity opening up for us. It’s funny to think that when the group first
started, we thought that we would just meet fortnightly in a home and pray for
the schools, but it is obvious that God had other ideas! We are thrilled to share with you what we
have been up during the month of May.

St. Ignatius RC School in Sunbury invited us to be involved in their new
topic of looking at how people live and act because of their faith. Two of our
group, Sally and Gaelle, bravely took on the challenge and were interviewed
about their faith and the choices they make as a result of their belief in God.
They both received a very warm welcome from the children and staff and found
the whole experience a real blessing.

St.
Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury

kindly
opened their doors for us to hold a special prayer event in their lovely
College Chapel to highlight the annual national Pray for Schools Fortnight. We were delighted to be joined by Avril from
FACT (Faith Awareness Childrens Trust) who goes into many of our infant and
junior schools. We had the great pleasure and privilege of having a guest
speaker, Susan Catcheside, from St. John’s Church, Hampton Wick, who shared
about investing in the next generation, citing the story of Naomi and Ruth, and
the qualities that Naomi invested in her daughter-in-law – praying a blessing
on her, being an inspiration and role model, giving practical and wise advice, sowing
seeds in her life for the future, all of which she continued to do with Ruth’s
son, Obed. Susan underlined that some prayers are answered very dramatically
and quickly whilst others ‘just happen’. We often look back and can see how
things slightly shifted and changed which caused situations to alter. It’s an
encouraging thought that we just don’t know the outcome of our prayers – Naomi
would have had no idea that her grandson would turn out to be King David, from
whose line of course Jesus descended!
Many of you reading this will have done so in the past, or are currently
investing in children’s and young people’s lives – doing the same things that
Naomi did. What an amazing thought – what
will your investing produce in the future?!

Left-right: Gaelle, Rachel, Pauline, Avril (FACT), Nicola, Elspeth, Amanda

& Susan (guest speaker

Following
the talk we listened to recorded prayer requests from various aged children and
young people from our different schools. This proved to be very moving –
the honesty, sincerity and spontaneity was great to hear and challenged us as
to how we can get to know what the children want us to pray for, rather than
assuming we know! Something to pray about!

Towards
the end of our time we were joined by the College Chaplain, Becky Walker, and their
East to West youth worker, Adrian Laws, and spent time praying through received
prayer requests with the visual aid of photos of each school we pray for. The
morning concluded with placing different coloured lighted tea-lights onto a
cross, each colour representing a specific need e.g. those with special needs,
home problems, students taking exams, etc. It was a truly blessed time when
God, in His graciousness, met with us in a powerful way.

Becky Walker (College Chaplain) & Adrian Laws (East to West Worker)

Manor Mead School in Shepperton provided us
with the great opportunity of participating in their Creative Arts Week. Elspeth, Audrey and Val spent a very happy
time sharing in the activities associated with the theme of ‘Space’. Elspeth
commented: “I had a great time making
‘Alien cakes’! I was helping initially
with the most disabled children in a sensory playtime as they felt the icing,
and later with two groups who enjoyed decorating – and most of all eating the
cakes!!! I received a lovely warm
welcome.”

Val
commented: “I helped with the more
severely disabled children in the sensory room feeling sand and various
textures, looking at different coloured lights, a magic carpet of stars and a
very exciting space tent. What a joy it
was to be invited to help. We were very
much made to feel part of it all and it was a real privilege to meet the
wonderful caring staff as well as the delightful children.”

Children enjoying the ‘Star Magic Carpet’ in the Sensory Room

Teacher Angela (L) with group member Audrey outside the amazing Space Tent

We
were very touched to receive thanks from the staff: “Thank you so very much for coming and supporting us. I know the children and the staff really
appreciated and enjoyed your support”.

The wonderful dedicated staff of Pink Class who gave us such a warm welcome


Stall at Upper Halliford’s ‘Fun Day’ This term we
donate books into our local infant and junior schools so we have been involved
in several fund-raising events, including having a stall on Bank Holiday Monday
at St. Andrew’s Church, Upper Halliford, ‘Fun Day’, ‘fun’ being the operative
word as we were sold out in an hour which brought smiles to many faces! We have recently purchased a Banner to use at
such events, and this was its first outing – demonstrated below by our two
gorgeous assistants, Audrey and Amanda!

With
all these events, we are certainly gaining momentum, with two more events planned
before the end of term, news of which we will share with you next time.

Finally,
we all need encouragement and it has been such a blessing to receive the
following comments – a real confirmation that God hears our prayers and answers
them, always according to His perfect Will and in His perfect time:

From
the leader of one of our playgroups: ‘Thank you so for being there! God Bless
you.’

From
our contact at a senior school: ‘I had the pleasure of catching up with a young
man that you prayed for last year- to get a grade C in his English was looking
impossible, but on the third attempt he did it, got on the course he wanted at
College and is now getting top grades in every piece of work he does!’

From
a teacher at one of our senior schools: ‘Thank you so much for your prayers and
commitment to our local schools, it is a real joy and encouragement to know that
we are being prayed for.’



Spring Term

Sep '14 - Aug '15 Posted on Sat, April 18, 2015 21:46:11

Hello everyone and welcome to our ‘Spring’ posting. We
hope you all had an enjoyable Easter and found time to reflect on its true
significance, bringing the joy and hope of new life and new beginnings.


GROUP NEWS

As a group we have also encountered several new
beginnings with some of our regular members taking a well earned ‘breather’ at
present, and, in particular one of our original members, Michele, who has been
involved in the Schools’ Prayer Group since its conception 23 years ago has
decided to ‘retire’! She will be sorely
missed but we know that she continues to support us in her prayers. To balance things up we have been delighted
to welcome back another ‘original’ member, Audrey, and are thrilled to have a
totally new member join us – Gaelle, who is now our new parent contact for St.
Ignatius RC School in Sunbury.


SCHOOLS’ NEWS

Throughout our numerous years of praying for the schools
in the area we often find there are one or two schools where we struggle to
find a prayer contact within the school, but through faithful praying – and learning
to be patient! – God always comes up trumps at just the right time. We have been pleased to make contact with
Becky Walker, the new Chaplain at St. Paul’s Catholic College, and Suzanna
Hurrell, the RE Co-ordinator at Springfield School, and are most grateful to
them for kindly taking on the role of prayer contact for their respective
schools. This encourages us to press on
praying for our other schools currently without a contact.


ASSEMBLIES

In February we were invited by Rachel Barton, the Head
Teacher at Littleton CE Primary School, to take part in their Family
Assembly. Sally, Nicky and Helen from
the group were involved and commented: “We had a very warm welcome from
Littleton School. The children were
great and the assembly went well. Mrs.
Barton is grateful for our prayers and would like us to come back to lead
another assembly and even use the staff room for one of our prayer meetings.” We were delighted with this response and are
very much looking forward to returning to Littleton in June for a meeting and also
to take another assembly.

One of our group members, Rachel, together with her
husband, are youth leaders at St. Andrew’s Church in Upper Halliford, and regularly
take assemblies at some of our local schools.
In March they unpacked the theme ‘Awe and Wonder’ at assemblies at Saxon
Primary School and Hawkedale Infants School.


EVENTS

FACT Quiz

As well as prayerfully supporting nurseries, playgroups
and schools in the Spelthorne area, we also support organisations that are
linked with the schools, one of which is FACT (Faith Awareness in Children
Trust – www.thefact.co.uk
who visit playgroups, take assemblies, hold RE days and run ‘Time to Wonder’
sessions for primary and junior school age children). On 14th February several of the
group took part in their fund-raising event, a ‘Quiz of Love’. Our team didn’t win but we didn’t come last
either, so felt pleased with our efforts!
It was a fun evening which raised the amazing sum of £1046 towards their
work – well done to all at FACT.

Passion Play

You may have been one of the 800-1,000 people fortunate
enough to witness ‘The Passion’ open air production in Staines on Easter
Saturday which was a huge success from many respects. We were very proud to have had two of our
group take part in the play, and also the son of one of our members played a key
role. This was the second year the play
has been performed in Staines, and it is planned to stage it again in 2016
so do look out for it next year.

Easter Coffee Morning

Each year we provide two Scripture Union books to several
of our local infant and junior schools, one for the incoming Reception Year
pupils and the other for the Year 6 pupils about to move onto senior
school. It is our joy and privilege to
donate the books and we run various fund-raising events throughout the year to
help pay for their purchase. Our first
fund-raising event for this year was an Easter Coffee/Hot Cross Bun Morning
held at the end of March during the Easter holidays. We were delighted to welcome 27 friends and
neighbours and 13 children, all of whom had a most enjoyable time. We had prepared craft activities for the
children who busily made Easter baskets and daffodils whilst the adults took
the opportunity of catching up with friends and making new ones whilst making
their Easter-themed purchases of home-made goodies. We were extremely pleased to raise £215
towards our ‘Book Fund’ and thank everyone for coming along and supporting us.

Pauline busy buttering the Hot Cross Buns for our customers!

Audrey displaying the Easter-themed goodies for sale

Nicky and her willing helpers preparing the craft activities

WATCH THIS SPACE….

Coming up in May is ‘Pray for Schools Fortnight’ and we
are currently making plans to highlight this national annual event in our area. All will be revealed in our next posting!

Also in May we will be holding our next fund-raising
event – a new venture for us as this will be the first time that we will have
had a stall at Upper Halliford’s Fun Day on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th
May, on the village green. As well as
raising money it will also give us the opportunity to promote the group and the
books we donate, so we are praying for some good conversations and the chance
to make people aware that we are praying for the schools in their area.

We look forward to telling you all about it next time.

We currently pray for the following organisations,
nurseries, playgroups and schools:

FACT

East to West

Saxon Sure Start Children’s Centre

Cygnet’s Nursery, Shepperton

Laleham CE Playgroup

Roseacre Playgroup, Shepperton

Springtime Nursery, Shepperton

Ashford CE School

Beauclerc Infant & Nursery School, Sunbury

Chennestone Primary School, Sunbury

Hawkedale Infants School, Sunbury

Laleham CE Primary School

Littleton CE Primary School, Shepperton

Saxon Primary School, Shepperton

Springfield Junior School, Sunbury

St. Ignatius RC Junior School, Sunbury

St. Nicholas CE Primary School, Shepperton

Manor Mead School, Shepperton

Bishop Wand CE School, Sunbury

Halliford Boys’ School, Shepperton

St. Paul’s Catholic College, Sunbury

Sunbury Manor Senior School, Sunbury

Thamesmead Senior School, Shepperton

Thank you for reading our latest news and please do
contact if you wish to know more about the group or if you have any comments –
we would love to hear from you.