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Education Service News Item

Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove open new Prayer Space to help students gather their thoughts

Cardinal Newman Catholic School has opened an interactive multisensory prayer space this week to give students an opportunity to gather their thoughts and pray during Lent. The prayer space has been set up by the Christian Charity, Off the Fence, who work on a number of initiatives with the school.

The prayer space is created using a range of resources to enable the students to explore various subject areas and pastoral aspects of school life. There are 5 zones: saying thanks to someone, saying sorry, hopes and dreams, big questions and what you would like to know about God.

Carol Mullineux, from Off the Fence, said “We have had around 900 students use the prayer space this week which is fantastic. Students have found it a calming place to bring their worries. It is a safe space away from the hustle and bustle of everyday school life to think and pray.

“We have had a student who had found the prayer space a peaceful place to come and think and pray before they had an exam assessment.

“We have also had a student who came and gave thanks for a nurse who had helped her recently when she had temporarily lost her sight. She told us how the nurse had talked her through it and held her hand. She wanted to give thanks for the NHS and the nurse for going the extra mile and gaining her sight back.”

The students have commented that the prayer space “has a lovely atmosphere” and is “very calm and peaceful”.

Dr James Kilmartin, Headteacher, said: “"We are really grateful to Off the Fence for once again working with us to plan and open this prayer space. Prayer is at the heart of our Christian community, particularly during Lent, and it is really important that, in such a secular age, we show our students that there are different and engaging ways to pray. I have been really moved by the written prayers students have left - prayers not just for their friends and families but also for the city and the wider world."