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God in a pod

28 March 2013

SHERBORNE School for Girls, Dorset, the independent boarding school in Salisbury diocese, has traditionally had no chapel of its own, even though it has a full-time chaplain, the Revd Rebecca Ayers-Harris (sitting). They do, however, have a "God Pod" - a wooden shed on wheels that moves around the school grounds, and has been providing girls of all ages with a quiet place to ponder, pray, and explore what Lent means to them.

The Pod can be decorated in different ways, but, at the moment, its interior has been painted as a beach, complete with sand and sunrise, by a student from Singapore, Elle Soo. The walls of the mobile chapel have also been covered with inspiring song-lyrics, chosen and chalked up by the girls, together with thought-provoking news articles from the week.

 "The girls have been using the space to record their reflections on a video camera," Mrs Ayers-Harris says, "which are then regularly made into mini-films that can be sent to all members of the school community." Grace Longman, who is 14, says that she has been visiting the Pod regularly. "The God Pod has been a great place to go when I've wanted space to think, and a little time away for some quiet worship.

"It's nice to have a cosy corner of the school where you can reflect on what's going on - not just within your immediate circle of friends, but in the wider world. It's not every school that has a mobile place of worship, and, although it obviously looks fun and quirky as it travels around the grounds, it does fulfil a serious function in our lives."

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