We pray together several times a day, including the beginning and the end of the day and at lunchtime. Our children, however, recognise that we can pray at any time and know that God is always listening. You will also find special Prayer Stops positioned in unexpected places as you walk around the school inviting those who pass by to pause and spend a moment in prayer.
“Prayer is about stopping and thinking – clearing your mind and thinking only of God. It’s talking to God.”
EYFS even have a special conversation corner where they can choose to sit and talk to God.
We also lucky enough to have a beautiful peace garden in which we are developing a prayer area. As the weather improves, we look forward to using this special area more regularly for prayer and liturgy groups
St Richard’s also enjoys the benefit of a specially devoted prayer room, containing a wide range of religious resources for use in our prayer, praise, worship and learning. This is a special place where we can come to pray or hold liturgies. It is a place of retreat, often used by our more vulnerable children seeking a place of calm and reassurance.
“We love the prayer room – it is really peaceful. We love writing prayers in the sand.”
As part of their role, the Mini Vinnies have also recognised the need of our more vulnerable children and taken on the responsibility of running our Scripture Doodle Club for KS2 children, using the words of scripture to help inspire of art through prayerful meditation. They are also working hard to develop a new prayer club which some of our younger children are enjoying attending. They are trying to share new ways of praying and so far Pope Francis’ five finger prayer has proved very popular.
Our prayer champions also take great pleasure in running our weekly Rosary Club in the Prayer Room. Here they lead our younger children in prayer, explaining the meaning of the Rosary and familiarising them with the words of our prayers.
Sign of The Cross
In the Name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,
O My God, I give to you
All that I think and say and do
All my work and all my happy play
I will give to you today.
Grace Before Meals
Bless us, O God, as we sit together.
Bless the food we eat today.
Bless the hands that made the food.
Bless us, O God.
End of the Day Prayer
God our Father, we come to say
Thank you for your love today.
Thank you for my family
And all the friends you give to me.
Guard me in the dark of night
And in the morning send your light.
Prayer of St Richard
Thanks be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly.
Prayer Stations As well as our daily prayers, we have special times of prayer which the whole school can take part in. During Advent, Lent and Pentecost, we have special prayer stations in our prayer room which all of the children are invited to. These offer everyone the chance to pray in a different way, to reflect and to take time out of a busy day to be with God.
Each Wednesday morning, staff come together for a special time of prayer and reflection which is led by a different member of staff each week.
Prayers at Home
At home, we encourage family prayer through the Travelling Crib at Advent and the Travelling Cross during Lent, allowing our children to share the great stories of Christmas and Easter with their families and loved ones.
Mrs O’Loughlin painted our beautiful new prayer tree in the main corridor so we often pass by it. During the season of Lent, we added a leaf to the branches each day. Each leaf had a different prayer intention and reminded us of how important it is to pray for the needs of others.
Our Y6 pupils have also enjoyed the opportunity to go on retreat at the beginning of the year, when they reflected on what it means to be a Y6 pupil and the challenges ahead of them; and at the end of the year, when they will meet with other Y6 pupils at SMC to give thanks for their time at primary school in preparation for the new challenges they will face as they take the next steps on their educational journey.