Multi-faith prayer room opens at Burnt Mill

Burnt Mill Academy / Mon 10th Mar 2014 at 11:09am

BURNT Mill Academy officially opened their mutli-religion Prayer and Reflection Room.

The Harlow school welcomed leaders of faiths to answer student questions and view the new room.

Decorated to accommodate the six major world religions, the Prayer and Reflection Room provides students and teachers with a place to pray and gain quiet time to themselves during lunch breaks and even before and after school.

Teacher and Head of Humanities, Hannah Jones, explained how the idea developed from a commuting teacher and the importance of the room in today’s society. Ms Jones said: “It is really important that we educate effectively and explain the differences and similarities of different religions.

“Our role as teachers is to challenge and break the stereotypes. Having a room that everyone can share together helps to do that.”

Visiting faith leaders, Zia Rehman, Vice Chairman of the Harlow Islamic Centre, Irit Shillor, Rabi of the Harlow Jewish Community and Sue Knight, Team Vicar welcomed the student’s questions and were impressed with the school’s work.

Mr Rehman thanked the school. He said: “It is a wonderful initiative. It is incredibly important for Muslims to be able to pray during the day and it is important to provide this basic human right.

“I hope that those who are non-religious use the room to think and reflect. In a time where everyone is plugged into their television, or games console, doing everything except having a little time to themselves, it’s wonderful to see.”

Mrs Shillor said: “Harlow has a variety of religions and it’s nice to let the students take it away with them and create a better world wherever they go.”

Burnt Mill Academy Head Teacher, Ms Mills, said: “The importance of this space goes beyond providing students of faith with a place to pray and meditate. We hope to model to our community that a multi-faith school, where students learn and respect different beliefs, should never cause conflict, only celebrations.”

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