On Friday the 19th November, Faith Team led their first ‘Pop-Up Prayer Space.’ Faith Team will be running Pop-Up Prayer spaces once every half term over the course of the year. The purpose of our Pop-Up Prayer Spaces is to enable our children to explore life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way as well as giving them the opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection. Our first Pop-Up Prayer Space was based on the theme of community and loving your neighbour.
Community can mean all sorts of things. It can refer to the geographical area where we live, where we work or attend school, or it can refer to a group of people with whom we share common values, opinions, experiences or club memberships. Pupils are part of a school community – they share a building, lessons and experiences with a group of people five days in a week. But what about the people who feel less connected? What about people who are lonely, unloved, unwanted – the next door neighbours who are difficult to get on with, for example – are they part of the community too? In the Bible, when Jesus is asked which Commandment is the most important, he mentions two; first love God, and then love your neighbour as yourself. Jesus encourages all human beings to love one another as ‘neighbours’, in particular those who are different in some way, those who are ‘other’.
This prayer activity asked the children to reflect on the questions, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and ‘How can I love my neighbour?’ It encouraged children to think about the people in their school, the people in the streets and the towns where they live, especially those who are different in some way, and to write or draw a thought or a prayer for them. In the Bible, Jesus says that everyone is my neighbour, not just the people who live near me, and not just my friends. People I don’t know, even people I don’t like, are my neighbours too. And Jesus says that we should all love our neighbours like we love ourselves.