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Sacred sites

People worship in different ways and in different places. Learn about how and why as you visit a local religious site.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • A4 paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Sticky tack
  • Access to the internet
  • Camera or phone

Before you begin

  • The person leading the activity should plan a visit to a local place of worship. A place of worship can be a church, temple or mosque, or equally an outdoor space like a monument or shrine. This should be a place of worship that regularly brings people together, or did so in the past.
  • See if anyone from the place of worship is available to give a talk about the site and the faith of the people who go there. If no-one is available, the person leading the activity should do some quick research to find out a little more about the place.

Run the activity

  1. The group should come together in the place of worship. The person leading the activity should tell them to look around carefully at the features of the place. Everyone should look for different colours or shapes and things that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.
  1. Everyone should split into groups of four. The person leading the activity should give out pens or pencils, colours and paper. Each group should pick a wall or section of the place of worship and try to draw it together. Between them, the group should split the wall or section into four square pieces, with each member of the group drawing one piece.
  1. The person leading the activity should tell the groups to try to remember where the section they drew was in the building. Give everyone a moment to check this. If there’s any more paper, they could take notes to help them remember where the bits they drew were positioned, or to remember where each group was sitting. The person leading the activity should then collect up the drawings and make sure everyone’s ready to leave.
  1. Everyone should return to the meeting place. In a large room with blank walls, everyone should take back their drawing and use sticky tack to stick it to the wall. They should try to put it in the position where the section they drew in the place of worship was. Everyone should work together to line up their drawings. If the person leading the activity got a photo of the place of worship, use this to help.
  1. Everyone should step back to see their drawings. See if the group have any questions about any of the features that they’ve drawn.

Reflection

The group has visited a religious place in the community. It may have been a church, temple or mosque that the group were familiar with, or it may have been a place of worship that was completely new to them. If you were new, what was it like to see a place where someone else in your community worships? Did it still feel special to you? If you knew the place, did you notice anything new about the place that you had never seen before?

Drawing a part of the place of worship meant that the group had to work together, with each member of each group working on a bit of a wall or section and then joining them together afterwards. Did your combined drawings look like the part you were working on? Does your combined drawing remind you of the place of worship? Was it tough to draw a quarter of a section, without accidentally drawing a part of someone else’s? How did you work around that problem?

Safety

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

Phones and cameras

Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.