Finding space in creation simply to "be"

PUPILS at a Barnsley school can find a quiet space outside simply to ‘be’ thanks to the hard work of staff, parents and friends at the school – and a little bit of inspiration from the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

A new outdoor reflective area – complete with altar – was officially opened and blessed by the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, last week.Bishop Tony blesses the children at the new outdoor space at a Barnsley school

And head teacher, Mike Reed said it was already proving a hit.

“As part of our development and church school distinctiveness we are especially pleased with the garden. The pupils are making use of it already and taking some quiet time to enjoy their surroundings," he said.

The new outdoor worship and quiet area at Brierley CE (VC) Primary School in Barnsley, has been inspired by a series of workshops across the Wakefield and Huddersfield Episcopal areas by Education Development Officer, the Revd Gill Johnson from the Diocesan Education team.

She said: “ I wanted to encourage schools to think about creation in a new way and we talked about developing outdoor reflective areas to offer somewhere for the children to go that feels special, safe and nice and that allows them to reflect at their own speed, in their own way and in their own time.”

“A reflective outdoor space also means it is available to staff for any use outdoors they may want, from an outdoor Eucharist service to a garden for the children.”

 “This is about getting out amongst creation and celebrating it right there. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every school could have the opportunity to do just that, “ she said.


Bishop Tony is pictured here with school children at the outdoor service when he consecrated and blessed the altar and opened the new reflective area

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