Cheltenham Prayer for Schools Network

cpfsn logoCheltenham Prayer for Schools Network began in May 2000. The following article tells us how it started with one person, and grew. If you are part of a prayer network – why not tell us your story! And if you want to know more about growing a network of prayer, get in touch!

How did CPFSN start?

…with one, two, then six people sharing the God given vision of every school in Cheltenham being a prayed for school.

In May 2000 we decided to meet one morning a month to pray for this vision to become a reality. We listed all schools with Cheltenham phone numbers and found out that 12 of them had prayer groups. We invited them to join with us to form the fledgling Cheltenham Prayer for Schools Network.

As we met each month God answered our prayers and put us in touch with people who wanted to start groups. By the time CARE helped us put on our first prayer meeting in September 2001 we had been able to help 6 more groups to start. Since then we’ve held a prayer meeting each term in a different school with speakers to help us focus on particular issues for prayer. Praise God, we have heard many testimonies of answered prayer.

So how has the Network developed?

In 2006 we created a new CPFSN logo. It shows God’s love, encircling all those involved in schools bringing them under the protection and saving grace of the cross. It outlines the four aims of the Network that we had been and continue to fulfil.

Praying for all Cheltenham Schools

Home Intercessors have prayed, almost since CPFSN first started, for all 70 schools and educational establishments with a Cheltenham phone number – that’s secondary, primary, independent and special schools, the university, Gloucestershire College and National Star College.

The number of school prayer groups has grown steadily. Although some groups have only lasted a few years some of them have been restarted with new leaders and in April 2010 there were 39 prayer groups praying for 47 schools. Each group meets with the blessing of their Principal or Head teacher. Few groups have more than 3-6 people at any one meeting but ‘when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name He is there’ and many blessings flow!

Supporting pupils, parents, staff and governors

Prayer groups pray for key people who have a Christian influence in our schools – Christian pupils, teachers, governors, Chaplains, Head Teachers. They pray for Open the Book assemblies, Christian Unions and after school clubs, Ofsteds, new appointments. Some use a prayer rota to cover every year group and aspect of school life. Others have taken the initiative in giving It’s Your Move booklets to Yr 6 pupils to support them in their move to secondary school.

Providing resources each term

The termly Lamplight prayer letter gives every person in the network prayer points from that term’s meeting and other topics for prayer and thanksgiving.

The CPFSN ‘Information for Prayer Groups’ booklet is designed to resource prayer group leaders and help those wanting to start a group.

Providing a prayer meeting each term

Prayer meetings are hosted by a different school each term to encourage prayer group members and others, inform and equip us, and inspire us to more faithful prayer as we hear testimonies of what God is doing through prayer.

Building a network of Christians involved in schools

People often comment “I had no idea there were so many people praying for our schools!” The different prayer focus each meeting enables us to give a wide variety of Christians working in schools a platform to share their vision and prayer requests.

  1. There is tremendous encouragement in meeting with people from all denominations with common purpose of praying for our schools, their pupils and all those who work to support them.
  2. The ecumenical strength of CPFSN – possibly unique as the only ecumenical prayer meeting of this nature in Cheltenham – is a real privilege to be part of.
  3. CPFSN is building links with churches and encouraging more prayer for and involvement in schools. We now have a CPFSN Church Contact in more than half of Cheltenham’s churches.

Dreams for the future?

  • Every school to have a school or church prayer group praying regularly for it
  • More Christian headteachers and staff, CU’s and Christian clubs
  • More Reflective Corners in schools – something an individual Christian can offer to do!
  • Churches and individual Christians to be more involved in schools, “What can you do for your school?”
  • Church teams taking Open the Book assemblies in all primary schools
  • Churches providing ‘Experience Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, or Harvest’ for every primary pupil

To God be the glory and honour and praise!

We praise the Lord for all He has done to establish and grow this prayer network and look forward with anticipation to all He has in store during CPFSN’s second decade. We have a picture of CPFSN as a fountain which through prayer brings Christ’s living water to the children and young people of Cheltenham. Each prayer group is like a jewel jet and their prayers provide a spring board for Christian action in their schools. Praise Him and pray that His fountain will continue to flow and water an increasing number of lives.

Next Cheltenham Prayer For Schools Network Meeting

 

Autumn Term Meeting 2017  Monday 2nd October

7.30-9.30pm

Balcarras School, Charlton Kings

 

Our Partners and Friends

Our Partners and Friends