‘It was like that feeling, like you are stepping on holy ground’

‘Unwrapping findings from a study into the impact of prayer spaces on the spiritual development of children and young people’

In 2018 Prayer Spaces in Schools released a research paper ‘Evaluation of Prayer Spaces in Schools - The Contribution of Prayer Spaces to Spiritual Development’ – written by Professor Julian Stern and Rachael Shillitoe, on behalf of York St John University.

This September, in partnership with The Church of England, we will be hosting a day Conference focusing on the results of this research with guest speakers for each of the four key themes. You can find the full research document on the Prayer Spaces in Schools website here

The cost of the day conference is £35, including lunch. 

Further details about our day Conference in BIRMINGHAM (including the full programme and workshop options) will be available on the Prayer Spaces in Schools website. If you have any queries, please contact Tandia.

Book now
Location: Gas Street Church, 41 Gas St, Birmingham B1 2JT
Date: 16 Sep 2019 - 16 Sep 2019

10.00 am - Doors Open

10.30 am - Introductory Session

11.00 am - Keynote 1: Me and God: Discovering God in the Space - Bishop Paul Butler

11.40 am - Keynote 2: Me and Self: : Not another selfie? - Jim Davis

12.30 pm - Lunch

1.15 pm - Introductory Session 

1.25 pm - Seminar One 

2.00 pm - Seminar Two

3.00 pm - Keynote 3: Me and the World - Jo Herbert-James

3.40 pm - Keynote 4: Me and Others - Dr Lucie Shuker

4.20 pm - Closing Thoughts 

4.30 pm - Close

By Bus

Public Transport fares in Birmingham are reasonably priced with combined bus, train and tram tickets available. The nearest bus stops to St Luke’s Gas Street are:

Five Ways

Broad Street

Colmore Row


By Train

The nearest train stations are:

Five Ways (10 minute walk)

Birmingham New Street (12 minute walk)

Birmingham Snow Hill (12 minute walk)

Birmingham Moor Street (15 minute walk)

Birmingham New Street connects Birmingham with various locations across the UK.



You can find out about parking here.

From M6 South or North-West

Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and follow the A38(M). Follow signs to “City centre, Bromsgrove (A38)”. Do not take any exit to left. Go over 1 flyover and through only the first Queensway underpass. On exiting the underpass, keep in the left hand lane, indicate left and go up the parallel running slip road to the Paradise Circus Island following signs for A456 Kidderminster.Drive along Broad Street (A456) and the 2nd left is Gas Street. Taking a right at the end of this street will bring you into Berkley Street.

From M40 Oxford and the South

Arrive on the M42 and travel west towards the M5. Travel north on the M5 leaving at Junction 3. (Read directions “From M5 South-West”)

From M42 East Midlands

Join the M6 heading towards Birmingham Central and leave the M6 at Junction 6. (Read directions “From M6 South or North-West”)

From M5 South-West

Leave the M5 at Junction 3 and travel towards Birmingham City Centre along the A456 (Hagley Road) for 5 miles to the Five Ways Island. This is easily distinguishable as it is surrounded by large office blocks and Morrisons and Tesco stores.

Use the underpass at this island and drive along Broad Street past Jurys Inn which will be on your right and take the next right into Gas Street.

Taking a right at the end of this street will bring you into Berkley Street.


Bishop Paul Butler

"I love seeing Prayer Spaces happening across schools in our region. They inspire, encourage, teach and challenge me. So I am thrilled to be sharing in this particular day - See you there! "
Paul Butler is the Bishop of Durham for the Church of England. His whole ministry has involved working with and for children and young people in a wider variety of ways. He has four adult children and is a very excited grandad to 1 grandson.


Dr Lucie Shuker

Dr Lucie Shuker is Director of the Youthscape Centre for Research, and previously a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. When she’s not thinking about youth-work related research questions, Lucie can be found offering spiritual direction, and working on projects that address violence and exploitation against women and girls. Lucie lives in Luton, where she is on the leadership team of her local church and enjoys ‘researching’ the local chicken and chip shops.


Jo Herbert-James

Jo Herbert-James works for Tearfund as a Theology and Networks Manager, focused on Environmental & Economic Sustainability. She is also Director of The Justice Conference, UK. After studying the faith of Millennials in her MA from King's College London, she is passionate about a holistic & practical approach to faith and theology. She lives with her husband Pete in central London, is a keen cyclist, loves good coffee and is a passionate activist for sustainable living and is journeying towards a zero waste lifestyle.


Jim Davis

Jim Davis is Head of Youth Engagement in The Children’s Society. Jim leads on children and young people’s voice within the charity and on ensuring that the most disadvantaged and marginalised young people have the chance to influence and make changes.




Mary Hawes

Mary Hawes is the Church of England’s National Children and Youth Adviser. Previously, she has worked for the Diocese of London, Rochester Cathedral, Scripture Union and has been a primary school teacher. She serves as an Assistant Priest in a parish in Teddington, and as Chair of Governors for a local primary school.



Murray Wilkinson

Murray is the Church of England’s Growing Faith Enabler. Having started as a zoologist but left the wonderful world of bats and mole-rats to begin a career in youth ministry  in Cape Town, South Africa; then in West Kent, UK and on to serving as the Children and Young People’s Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Canterbury for nearly nine years. He is the father of two girls.


Phil Togwell

Phil Togwell lives on the North-East coast of England with his family (one wife, three daughters, two dogs). Phil trained and worked in a wide range of Youth & Community settings before serving as 24-7 Prayer's UK director for 7 years. He now leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams and works with the Diocese of Durham's Missional Leadership for Growth (MLG) project.


Paul Nash

Paul is the Chaplaincy Manager and Spiritual Care lead for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHSFT. He has led on a Multi Faith and Belief End of Life and Bereavement Care Pathway for patients, families and staff for many years and the team have produced several books and resources. He and Sally regularly blog on Honest Christianity and they love all things Cornwall!

Ann Casson

Ann Casson is a senior research fellow at the National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) at Canterbury Christ Church University. Previously she taught Religious Education in secondary schools in the North East of England. Her main research interests are investigating how schools and churches contribute to the spiritual development of young people. The current research study is looking at how church schools (in collaboration with local churches) facilitate opportunities for children to explore faith in the home.

Catherine Clayton

Catherine organised her first prayer space while she was a primary school teacher in Oxfordshire. Shortly afterwwards, she left teaching to establish BeSpace, a small charity that develops prayer spaces across the county. Catherine now lives in London and works part-time for Prayer Space in Schools as our Head of Strategy for England, developing our regional Networks and Training. In her spare time she loves to swim and ski! 

Charl Harman

Charl is the Director of Proximity: Schools and is one of the leaders of Proximity Church, part of the 24-7 Prayer Network. Charl is passionate about community transformation. Charl and the team in Stanford have been working in their local schools since 2011. Proximity Schools now partners with local businesses, the Council and has a broad network which reaches 100s of young people weekly through chaplaincy, alternative education, intervention programmes, after-schools clubs and mentoring.


Tim Abbott

Tim leads CYO, a youth and schools ministry, which (among other things) runs Sanctum prayer spaces in the Colchester area. He is married, has two sons, and plays bass. Tim has organised three town-wide 24-7 prayer rooms, one in a shop. He likes starting new things. 



Beks Korneji

Beks has a Master’s Degree in Youth and Community Work and Applied Theology and has previously worked with two churches and mentored students at the local high school. She now works as a chaplain at the Sixth Form College and at Colchester Institute where her youth work skills and previous life experiences are a real asset to CYO and to the young people, schools and churches we work with.


Gill Heron

Gill has a degree in Education and Religious Studies and has worked as a primary school teacher and a primary music specialist. She is passionate about enabling young people to explore their spirituality through creativity. Gill is an Accredited Teacher of Godly Play and is experienced in leading and facilitating Prayer Spaces in primary schools.

Seminar One - 1.25 pm - 1.55 pm

1. Growing in Faith: In the Prayground
with Mary Hawes

2.Mental Health

3. Partnering with Schools to Transform Communities
with Charl Harman 

4. How Spiritual Styles Shape our Experience of Prayer
with Gill Heron

Seminar Two - 2.00 pm - 2.35 pm 

1. How to host a great prayer space in school
with Catherine Clayton

2. Chaplaincy: Supporting Spiritual Life in Schools and Colleges
with Tim Abbott and Beks Korneji

3. Naming The Elephant: Reflections Spaces for Loss and Grief
with Rev Paul Nash

4. “Using All Our Senses”: Exploring Faith In School And At Home
with Ann Casson