Yesterday, my friend sent me a video on Whatsapp of my goddaughter praying a prayer (with actions!) that she’d learnt at school.
My goddaughter has just started primary school this September and I’m so encouraged to see that her faith is being nourished in her new school. It made me wonder what some of the other parents (who perhaps aren’t so familiar with prayer) must think when their children come showing off their new prayer and actions.
Common opinion is that young people are not interested in praying, however, a recent BBC article shared the results of a survey that suggested that young people in the UK are twice as likely as older people to pray regularly.
What might this mean for you as you lead pupils on their faith journey through Collective Worship?
Well, perhaps while you’ve been enthusiastic about encouraging parents to support children with their Maths and English homework, you might have been more cautious or nervous about encouraging parents to engage with the spiritual development of their children.
But perhaps, now is the time to be bold and to invite parents deeper into the spiritual lives of their children; perhaps they are more open to this than you think.
During the pandemic, multiple Christian organisations saw huge increases in attendance of both online church services and faith-based activities. St Augustine is famed for saying,
During these past months of the global pandemic, many people have experienced feelings of restlessness and anxiety and many have also come to know the peace that God wants to bring each and every one of us.
So inviting parents into this faith journey might seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You will already be doing it when you invite parents to pray with their children in assemblies or class Masses, or when they come to see their children in nativity plays and Easter productions. There’s one more way we would suggest you could encourage parents to explore faith with their child and that’s through the monthly Ten Ten Parent Newsletter. The newsletter is an opportunity for you to share how you are leading children in prayer in school, but also offers parents the tools to begin to pray with their child, even if they might not be confident in matters of faith and prayer.
Pope Paul VI said, “The Church exists to evangelise”. As our schools are a key part of the faith community, let’s be bold in sharing the treasures of our Christian experience, so that more and more parents can begin to know and experience the peace that the Lord wants to offer them.