New book of prayers gives voice to C of I primary schools

Above – Prof Brian MacCraith, Dr Patrick Sullivan of NCCA, Canon Brian O’Rourke of CIPSMA, Jacqui Wilkinson, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Dr Andrew McGrady of CPSMA, Dr Ken Fennelly of the General Synod Board of Education and Bishop Kenneth Kearon. (Photo: Daire Hall/DCU)

The book contains a wide variety of prayers, each prayer written by a pupil, a class, a teacher or someone connected with a Church of Ireland primary school. The book was the result of a project initiated by Mrs Jacqui Wilkinson who invited all Church of Ireland primary schools to contribute prayers. Jacqui lectures in Religious Education in DCU, teaches the RE Cert (Follow Me programme) to initial teacher education students in DCU and offers CPD and inservice training in the Follow Me programme to existing teachers in Church of Ireland schools. 

The prayers in the book include those which may only be read occasionally, for example when a teacher retires or when there is a school inspection. Others may become regular features of assemblies marking the seasonal events of the school year. There are also prayers for when an urgent response is required, for example, in times of sickness or sadness.

The launch at Templebreedy National School

Many of the primary schools in the Diocese of Cork have prayers in the collection, and the diocesan school prayer written by the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, is also included.  On Friday 7th February Jacqui Wilkinson visited Templebreedy National School for their school assembly during which pupils read the Templebreedy National School prayers that had been contributed to the project  and the principal Mrs Doris Bryan was presented with a copy of the book.

The Reverend Isobel Jackson, rector of Templebreedy and Mrs Dorothy Verplancke, the retired principal of the school  were  present at the school assembly and Mrs Verplancke  was given a copy of the book which contains two prayers she wrote. All primary schools in the diocese will receive copies of the book in the coming weeks.