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Norfolk: Methodist church gets 200 children thinking spiritual

Two hundred primary school children visited a specially built Link Prayer Space at their local Methodist church earlier this month ...

For three days from 7-9 November, Acle Methodist Church transformed their worship area into an inspiring, creative prayer space and invited 200 local school children to come and think about complex spiritual issues, reports Network Norwich and Norfolk.

The East Norfolk church transformed their worship area into a prayer space complete with a star-gazing tent, a friendship tree, prayer dome, pools of water, relaxing music, fairy lights and scenic videos of nature.
The church invited 200 primary school pupils from Acle St Edmund CE Primary School to visit the Link Prayer Space on Thursday and Friday before opening up to the public on Saturday morning.

Visitors were invited to explore activities on themes of thankfulness, identity, remembrance, friendship, saying sorry, and thinking about what God is like.

The organisers of the Prayer Space received highly positive feedback from their young visitors including comments such as: “This is one of my best school trips I have had”, “It has been an astounding day!’ and “This church visit has got me thinking about things I’ve never really thought about before”.
The children were asked to write down their one big question for God. They responded with questions such as: ‘What is it like to be a star?’, ‘Why do we live if we’re only gonna die?’, ‘Are you looking after people on other planets?’ and ‘How did you choose Jesus to be your son out of millions?’

After gazing at the stars in the star tent and hearing about how God loves and cares for all of us all of the time, one boy commented: “Well, God must be a sort of Superdad!”  

One church member dressed up as a ‘homeless’ prayer guide (pictured right) and introduced the children to her cardboard home, including the left-over food she had scrounged, the musty pillow made from sacking and her pet ‘Ratty’.

The act was so convincing that many children thought she was genuinely homeless and one child wrote that: “she can live in my house any day”. Pupils wrote moving prayers on the box, either for homeless people or thanking God for the good things in their lives.
Staff from the school were impressed to see such young children exploring deep, complex and spiritual things and commented that the Prayer Space was a wonderful opportunity for the children to think about God, the world and their place within it.

Paul Henery, Headteacher of Acle St Edmund CE Primary School said: “I feel certain it has had a big impact, in ways we may never really know.”
When the Prayer Space opened to the public on Saturday morning some of the children brought their families back to share the experience.
Sara Edwards, from Acle Methodist Church, who organised the Prayer Space said: “This has been a huge success and I am amazed at how the children engaged and discussed and the depth of their responses.

"I’m looking forward to taking a follow-up assembly in school. My thanks go to the wonderful team of volunteers who made this possible and I know we all felt it was a privilege to be part of this.”

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