Children at St Mary’s Catholic Primary school in Swindon experienced the ‘Power of Prayer’ through a two week celebration of the Arts in school. To launch this event, they were blessed with a visit from Joan Fernandes, a former pupil, who led the school community in joyous worship, centred on the theme ‘The Power of Prayer.’

Throughout the two weeks, the children were given the opportunity to praise God through different art mediums. Activities included taking part in traditional Goan Folk dancing, Irish dancing, designing their very own Swinpup based on stewardship and Catholic Social Teaching, developing spirituality through contemplative prayer, praise and worship with flags, fashion designing, Forest school, baking and lots of praising God through song! Parents were invited to come into school and spend time with their child praying and reflecting on the Fruits of the Spirit and how we can use these gifts in our lives today in the Outdoor Prayer space.

The children were invited to take part in Visio Divina, an ancient form of Christian prayer in which we allow our hearts and imaginations to enter into a sacred image, in silence, to see what God might have to say to us. Each year group was given a sacred image representing the Feast of Pentecost and were encouraged to respond to this by creating their own piece of artwork. This artwork was then presented in an art exhibition in the school hall for the school community and parishioners to come and look at.

To conclude the celebrations of the Power of Prayer, and reflect on the joyful Feast of Pentecost, St Mary’s parish priest, Father Michael, led the school community in an International Mass. Children were invited to come into school wearing their traditional native dress and prayers were read out in many different languages, representing and celebrating the diverse and inclusive community of St Mary’s.

‘And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit enabled them.’ Acts 2:4