THE diocese of Blackburn has released a prayer asking for “wisdom and stamina” among teachers and “good judgement” from school leaders to keep pupils safe in “challenging times”.
The prayer, written by the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, was read aloud by pupils and staff at St Christopher’s C of E School, Accrington, in a video to mark a National Day of Prayer for Schools yesterday.
The international initiative, which was started by the Pais Movement, encourages Christians to focus their prayers on schools. This might be by lighting a candle, holding a prayer vigil, or a prayer walk around the community. Staff in the Blackburn diocesan offices were due to hold a series of online prayer meetings yesterday.
The British Isles Director of the Pais Movement, Pete Baker, explained: “We wanted to create an opportunity for people across the UK to hold up our children and young people, their teachers and the wider school communities in prayer. We believe this day of unity could bring breakthrough, strength, and encouragement to those facing the huge challenge of teaching, learning, and living during these strange and difficult times.”
The Blackburn diocesan director of education, Stephen Whittaker, said: “We are thrilled to join in the National Day of Prayer for Schools; to bring before God all schools, their staff, local communities and families while we also we look for new ways for the Church and school to work together for the flourishing of all.”
The Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Ven. David Picken, who chairs the Diocesan Board of Education, said that the diocese was “committed to making disciples, being witnesses, growing leaders, and inspiring children and young people as part of the living out of our Vision 2026. Schools are a central part of our vision, and this day of prayer is the perfect opportunity to focus on vital area of work and to seek God’s blessing on the schools in this diocese.”
LORD GOD, we ask you to pour your blessing on the schools of our nation. Give joy and curiosity to our children: that they may discover their gifts, grow in knowledge and learn to live well. Give wisdom and stamina to our teachers: that they may delight to inspire young minds and find contentment in their work. Give vision and good judgement to our head teachers, school leaders and governors: that they may guide our schools well and keep them safe in challenging times. Give courage and compassion to the people of our land: Protect us from fear and help us to act with calmness and kindness. Your Son Jesus Christ taught his disciples to follow in his Way. Inspire us by his example and strengthen us by his presence, for we make our prayer in his holy name. Amen.