Setting up took a bit longer than on previous occasions because we had some new stations to put together for the first time and twelve stations rather than the nine we've done previously. We got part of it done on Friday evening and the rest finished off this morning, so it was about 10am before we were ready.
Take up was slow to start with. The room opens onto a social area and the top of a staircase so people knew we were there, but needed encouragement to come in and find out what it's all about. As we had predicted, being in a college meant that people came through in small groups pretty much any time of the day. By late lunchtime we'd seen about 20 people and been encouraged by their responses. But it was clear that, in spite of advertising all last week through posters, flyers and the college info screens, many people didn't know Sanctum was happening. So we printed off a load more flyers and set off round the College social areas chatting to people and inviting them to come and try out the prayer room.
As a result the numbers picked up for the last hour and a half of the afternoon and another 20 students visited. So far, people typically come to Sanctum in groups of 4-7. One group rushed things because it was clear one member of the group was uncomfortable. But other groups noticeably slowed down, took their time and were obviously deely engrossed in the different activities. Every now and then a couple of them would chat briefly and quietly before engaging in another activity.
All those who have come have appreciated it. May it continue. Here are some quotes from the visitors book for today:
Very enlightening, peaceful and relaxing. It has allowed us to think more about God. W & M (male & female)
Very inspiring and a very good target audience. It helped, I think, to open people up to spirituality at an age where religion is confusing and blocked behind dogma. S (female)
Very comforting, eye opening. Really made me think about life. Thanks! J & L (males)