Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A little prayer for you...

The Godolphin prayer book is something that all Godolphins (teachers and pupils) had in their possession. Today, the same is true, though they are referred to as hymn books and students are expected to bring them to Prayers 3 times a week, so I am reliably informed.
The girls do still attend church at the beginning and end of term, however, though the roots of the school are in Church of England practise, prospective students of all and no faiths are welcomed.
Anyway, to return to the prayer book... Lots have found their way back to Godolphin School and are kept in the archive. They have not altered much over the years, save for perhaps getting a tad thinner. 

Many of the older copies belonged to teachers, one to Miss Ivy Phillips who was a teacher and a pupil at the school, another to Miss Evelyn-Smith. Miss E-S’ copy was given to her by the headmistress Miss Ash, presumably when she joined the school in 1925.
The first section of the book contained Psalms and prayers for every school occasion, followed by a section for notes and then hymns.Often the notes section was full of more hymns and prayers written out by hand.

In the 1970s a craze emerged for signing people’s prayer books on coming to the end of one’s time at Godolphin. This was quite a sweet idea as a student still at school could be reminded of her friends who’d left when using her prayer book. However, the chance of having a book inspection, or needing to use a hymn which some well meaning friend had written across, made it risky business!
A thoughtful message from Katy to Julie that could be perused whilst singing....
Margaret’s note ensured Julie probably struggled to sing Away in a Manger forevermore... And being a popular hymn, the likelihood of it cropping up over and over each Yuletide was probably pretty high! Perhaps Margaret knew this!?
‘Dear Julie I hope you don’t have a hymn book check!!’

One girl commented, that she’d written in so many prayer books she couldn’t think of anything to write anymore...