Prayer Safari

This activity can be scaled down to work for a local church or scaled up to work across the whole diocese or district.

This activity can be scaled down to work for a local church or scaled up to work across the whole diocese or district.

It’s half term so many families will be on holiday and have more time than usual. Most areas have beautiful or interesting places to visit with churches nearby:

this idea entails providing a safari route around selected churches in places families would conceivably be keen to go to (for example, near the sea, near a nice churchyard in which to picnic, close to a Wetherspoons, by a play park, with lovely views, near a National Trust property, near an airport, near a McDonald’s, a museum, a green space to run around in, a train station with open access platforms, a pond…). You might even persuade the churches to exercise their gift of hospitality and open up for the duration, providing refreshments and toilets.

• At its simplest, you might provide a map of the nine (one per day of the holiday) suggested places to visit, with postcodes for those using Satnav, and invite people to explore all of them during half term by public transport, cycle, car or foot. On the map, provide a prayer for the families to pray for the area when they arrive at the place in question.

• Or you might organise a single day during the half term holiday when a set of nine or more churches commit to being open and offering hospitality, perhaps refreshments and small Thy Kingdom Come prizes for every visitor, so that a family might have an adventure day going from one to another. The welcoming church could suggest a prayer for people to say there, or a prayer station at which to do an action, so that the prayer is different at each venue.

• You could have a ‘passport’ to collect stamps or a treasure hunt letter or prayer token to collect at each venue, or a challenge to take a photo of your family in a particular spot, so the diocese or district could offer a prize to anyone completing the whole safari and submitting their completed passport or answer.

• The final venue could be a cathedral or similar central venue with a party to join in with.