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Prayer Group News

Spring/Summer Term

Sep '16 - Aug '17 Posted on Thu, August 10, 2017 22:15:12

Hello
everyone – hope you are enjoying the summer, a time for many of us to relax and
reflect. As we look back over the year so far, we’d like to share with you what
the Spelthorne Schools’ Prayer Group have been up to.

EASTER EVENT – APRIL

Following the first successful event of this kind last year, we ran another just prior to Easter which
was attended by 25 young children and their families. Everyone thoroughly
enjoyed the fun-filled couple of hours in which the children participated in Easter
crafts, a puppet show and Easter Treasure Hunt, the afternoon concluding with a
tea. It was a delight to share the Easter message with the children and a
joy to hear them singing (with great gusto!) of God’s greatness and love for
them, being reminded that Jesus came, died and rose again to give all who
believe in Him, new life – something definitely to be thankful and joyful
about! The proceeds from the event went
into our Book Fund – more about that later!

PRAY FOR SCHOOLS FORTNIGHT – MAY

This year the focus was on
three truths that Jesus said He is:

The Good Shepherd – He watches over us:
caring for us when we are in need.

The Way, the Truth and the Life – He guides us
along His path of wisdom, honesty and love.

The Light of the World – He rescues us
out of darkness so we can see and know our amazing God.

This
was e-mailed to each of our
nurseries/playgroups, schools and school-related organisations, together with an illustrated card assuring everyone we would be praying for them specifically during the designated fortnight. We
received some encouraging replies:

From the Head Teacher of a Primary School:
“I have printed this out for our Prayer Book that is shared by everyone.”

From
a local organisation, East to West, who have Relational Support Workers in all
of our Senior Schools: “
Thank you so much for your faithful, devoted support
of us and our schools in prayer. There is something amazing about the
knowledge that we are underpinned so beautifully. The team know that this
prayer changes things for us as we support vulnerable and at risk students in
both secondary and primary schools.

From one of the Relational
Support Workers: “
Thank you and your team for underpinning all our
work at East to West. You are such an encouragement! God richly reward
you for your faithfulness and dynamically answer those fantastic prayers and
vision for those 3 truths outlined.”

It
is always a real privilege to be invited into our schools to hold our meetings
and we decided to combine the Prayer for Schools Fortnight with a visit to
Laleham C.E. Primary School. The Head Teacher was extremely welcoming and keen
for us to plan a programme for the morning, thanking us for our faithful
praying for the school.
Members of the group just about fitting into the Prayer Hut! (Apologies for the side-wise photo!)

As you will see, they have a lovely Faith Corner in
their grounds and it was here we began our time. What a joy it was to
actually be able to interact with the lovely children who wrote out some
heart-felt prayers on the ‘prayer bunting’ we were able to display.

We
concluded the morning in the school library and prayed for various school
situations in all the schools we pray for, each situation being depicted by a
coloured tea light. We felt the different colours produced a
rainbow effect which reminded us that we are all different, unique and special,
and that God loves each and every one and has His perfect plan and purpose for
each child and adult alike. As the tea lights gave out their light, we
prayed that all those that feel they are in darkness, for whatever reason, will
come to know that Jesus is indeed the Light of the World and the darkness will
never ever overcome that one true light.


We
subsequently received the following from the Head Teacher:

“It
was lovely to have you all and we are so grateful for your time in prayer for
us! You would be very welcome to visit again sometime, of course. Thanks
again for all your prayers.”

We
all felt greatly encouraged and immensely blessed by our time at the school,
and give thanks for the great privilege it is to pray for our schools and these
dear children who we know are very much on God’s heart.

FUND-RAISING –
UPPER HALLIFORD FUN DAY – MAY

As
a group we had a stall at the Upper Halliford Fun Day on Bank Holiday Monday to
raise money to purchase the books we donate to many of our infant and junior
schools. We had a most successful time in that we sold out within a few
hours! However, even more pleasurable for us was the opportunity to meet
many families with children who attend the schools we pray for, so we were able
to explain about our group as well as inform them about the books. It is
such a joy to actually meet those whom we pray for and for them to know they
are prayed for regularly.

BOOKS FOR
SCHOOLS -JUNE/JULY

What
a faithful God we have! This statement was greatly emphasised at our final
meeting of the academic year when we received the bill for the two Scripture
Union publications we donate to several of our infant and junior schools during
the summer term – ‘It’s Your Next Step’ for the incoming Reception Year
children and ‘It’s Your Move’for the current Y6 pupils as they contemplate
their move to Senior School. We were £200 short to meet the bill, yet
throughout the day of our meeting the money amazingly, indeed miraculously,
came in! Sometimes God delivers at the 11th hour –
nerve-racking for us yet it teaches us to trust more and leave things in His
very capable hands, knowing He is working His perfect purposes out for the very
best.

Here
are some of the very grateful recipients of the books for their schools:

Ashford C.E. Primary School

We
were greatly encouraged to receive the following from the Head Teacher of the school:

“Thank you for
the amazing support to our school this year. The books are so welcome and your
prayer is strengthening. I look forward
to working with you again in the school year ahead.”

Beauclerc Infant & Nursery School in Sunbury

Chennestone Primary School in Sunbury
Littleton C.E. Primary School
Saxon Primary School
Springfield Junior School
St. Ignatius R.C. Junior School

EAST TO WEST 20
YEAR CELEBRATION – JULY

It
was our great joy and privilege to be invited to attend a Thanksgiving Service
at Christchurch in Virginia Water on 1st July as East to West
celebrated 20 years of working with children, young people and families in our
area (more info www.easttowest.org.uk). Sally attended on behalf of the group and
writes:

“I had a lovely
afternoon at East to West’s 20 year celebration and it was a real
privilege to represent our group. One Relational Support Worker said to me
“We like you”. It was lovely to see how God has been at work through this
organisation, making such a difference to so many young people, and how,
through this organisation and those involved, they have not only helped others
encounter God but have been encouraged and grown in their faith and continued
faithfully in their journey. Rev. Tim
Rose, now at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Littleton, came along to East to West as
a youth trainee and look where he is today ! He not only helped others
encounter God on their journeys in life through East to West but was encouraged
on his journey too. They really appreciate us and our prayer group, and think
we are lovely and the best! Without prayer back up they would not have made the
difference to so many young people’s lives and be where they are today, still
20 years on impacting on young people lives and enabling young people to
encounter & discover God. Therefore,
let us continue to play our part in making a difference and being part of the
powerhouse behind this amazing organisation.”

A FITTING END TO
THE SCHOOL YEAR

At
the end of term I received the following from a teacher who has become a great
friend of the group – Ros McMorrin who has now left Manor Mead School in Shepperton after 18 years where she has played a massive role in developing the school and making it into the amazing place it is now. Ros was
one of our ‘original’ prayer contacts and has been very faithful to the group –
some of us even attended her wedding service!

“Thank
you so very much for my beautiful flower card; it was such a wonderful surprise
and a very thoughtful act of kindness. I have felt it a real honour to know
such prayerful ladies faithfully praying for their local schools- our schools
are so much better because of your faithfulness and the Jesus seeds you have
planted have been amazing for both the children, their families and staff. Many
many thanks and may Jesus continue to bless all that you do. X”.

These comments mean a great deal to the group,
confirming that we are being obedient to what God is calling us to do and they have definitely served to spur us
on as we continue to battle
in prayer for the children and young people in our area.

We
wish all our readers a beneficial restful and refreshing summer break and we look
forward to sharing with you again in the autumn.

Val Edwards,
Prayer Group Co-ordinator.



Autumn/Winter 2016

Sep '16 - Aug '17 Posted on Sun, July 30, 2017 21:07:15

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