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Blackburn Diocese is joining with the National Day of Prayer for schools that has been instigated by the PAIS movement, writes Stephen Whittaker, our Director of Education.

The initiative seeks to encourage churches to pray for the schools in their community on that day. We would encourage our churches from all traditions to engage in prayer for the schools in their parishes in whatever way they would feel they can.

For some this might be lighting a candle for each school and using this as a prayer focus, but for others it could be a virtual prayer gathering, and others a walk in the community, stopping to pray at various places.

However big or small the activity, the important aspect is the prayer. Two or three praying at a set time is as valuable as a virtual gathering of hundreds and the key thing is that the focus is on those establishments in your community.

The Board of Education team will be fasting and praying that day and encourage schools themselves to pray for other schools in the area. 

The Board of Education website is here

Resources and Ideas

Bishop Philip has written a prayer (below) for the day which could be used by churches and individuals. A video of this prayer, recorded by children and staff from St Christopher's CofE School in Accrington, is also available now to view and share on social media. Watch it here ...


Lord God, we ask you to pour your blessing on the schools of our nation.

Give joy and curiosity to our children:

that they may discover their gifts, grow in knowledge and learn to live well.

Give wisdom and stamina to our teachers:

that they may delight to inspire young minds and find contentment in their work.

Give vision and good judgement to our headteachers, school leaders and governors:

that they may guide our schools well and keep them safe in challenging times.

Give courage and compassion to the people of our land:

Protect us from fear and help us to act with calmness and kindness.

Your Son Jesus Christ taught his disciples to follow in his Way.

Inspire us by his example and strengthen us by his presence,

for we make our prayer in his holy name.


Other resources can be found from PAIS on this website and (in particular) a resource giving ten prayers that could be used. Also visit the 'Pray for Schools' website for more resources.  

Below are some additional ideas on how churches might get involved, but if you would like some specific help or a list of schools to pray for from your area, please do contact the Board of Education team:

  • Light a candle for every school in your parish
  • Make schools the prayer intention for a Eucharist that day
  • Organise a Zoom/Facebook live moment of prayer for schools
  • Open the church for private prayer and set up a ‘prayer corner’ like in a classroom, with photos of the school(s), the school vision statements, children’s Bibles, the school prayer pens and pencils, the school badges etc to use as a focus for prayer or ask someone from school to set up a prayer corner in church.
  • Use the School’s Vision statement and Bible verse to inform prayer – make copies available for parishioners.
  • Organise a prayer walk, stopping to pray outside each school you pass, or create a virtual prayer walk which people can do in their own homes.
  • Circulate copies of Bishop Philip’s prayer along with the school’s own prayer.
  • Whatever you do tell the schools you are doing it – including the community schools



Ronnie Semley, September 2020