Sue Mann

22nd August 2022

As I write this, the summer holiday period is drawing to a close. Parents and carers are preparing to send their children to, or back to, nursery or school, some children are moving on to new schools or colleges, or continue to be educated at home; others are preparing to return to university or to go for the first time or to begin jobs or apprenticeships.

As we move into the month of September, let’s all remember to pray for all the children and young people in our three villages, those at nursery or school and those studying further afield. And let’s also pray for our three schools. There are three Church of England Schools in Thurrock Deanery, and they are all in our Parish of Horndon, Orsett and Bulphan. It is a great privilege to have all these three church schools in this area, but it is also hugely important that we support the work they do by praying for the pupils and all the staff who serve in these schools.

We need to remember, too, that there are also many people living in Horndon, Orsett and Bulphan who work in schools or colleges and education, further afield, who need our prayers.

So, on 4th September at 10am at Orsett Church, we will be holding a ‘Back to School’ Service with backpack blessings where we will pray for all those involved in education, including those about to return to nursery, school or college; both those studying and those who work there. Do come along if you are able to.

As we think about this new academic year, here are some prayers you might like to use.

A Prayer for the New School Year
God of all wisdom, we praise you for gifting us with curiosity and learning. Give to all students, staff, and caregivers a clear sense of your love. May they feel your presence throughout this school year. Guide their choices, their quest for knowledge, and their relationships. Use their successes and failures as opportunities to grow in understanding of who you would have them to be. Continue to shape them, that they may walk in the way of Christ, grow strong in Spirit’s love for all people, and know the complete joy of life in you. In the name of Christ our Great Teacher, we pray. Amen.
Linda Witte Henke, adapted, “From the Vine,” in Marking Time: Christian Rituals for All Our Days, Moorehouse Publishing 2001, p. 63.

A Prayer for Students
Eternal God, your wisdom is greater than our minds can attain, and your truth enlightens our learning. To those who study, give curiosity, imagination, and patience to wait and work for insight. Fill their learning with joy. Help them to doubt with courage. And hold all their days in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Worship, adapted, Westminster John Knox Press, 2018, p. 911.

A Prayer for Parents
Loving God, We confess some days the worries of parenthood are as abundant as the joys. Guide us through the valleys, so we may be present for our children in their valleys, until we are all brought again to the the mountaintop. We ask you to bless our children with hearts of compassion and courage, and keep them safe from harm. Fill them with the knowledge that they are loved and beloved. And may we always remember to pray: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
Meg Bucher, adapted,; Reinhold Niebuhr, “The Serenity Prayer”

Take care and God bless,