Last Thursday Amy and I took part in a conference in London on "Creating Spiritual Spaces for Children and Young People" organised by Spiritual England. We were there to do a 20 minute presentation about Sanctum, our prayer room for schools.
As might be expected, the event welcomed a fascinating variety of people and organisations. There were several Christian contributors, as well as ourselves, and a good number of the delegates came from Christian settings, all of which pointed towards a healthy engagement in the clearly rising tide of interest in spirituality in the UK.
Our 20 minute presentation, which included running one of the Sanctum stations as a plenary reflective exercise, seemed to go down well, judging from the feedback and the number of people who came up to us to chat about it afterwards whenever there was a break. In turn we were inspired by several of the contributions of others, in particular Clive Erricker of the The Children and Worldviews Project, Nigel Pimlott of Frontier Youth Trust and Anne Davies of Jigsaw4u.
Spirituality can be a bit of a borderless ocean with everyone having a different idea about what constitutes the spiritual and what doesn’t. There were a few contributions that were, perhaps, spiritual but not in a way that we feel comfortable with. And there were a few contributions that we found inspiring, though, to us, not obviously spiritual. However, the whole day was marked by warmth and acceptance and we were glad to be able to be there representing just one practical way in which Christians are helping young people engage with the spiritual and ultimately, as one of the stories we shared illustrated, with The Holy Spirit.
We believe it's important that Christians stay engaged with events and networks like this for there is nothing to be gained by staying away or by pronouncing judgement, as some might wish to do. We desire to judge others less, and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom more so the opportunity to take part, to present something of what God is doing through his people, to listen to others, is precious and I, for one, am grateful for all that Anna has invested in Spiritual England and for her invitation to us to contribute to the day.