'Open the Book'
In May we were invited to visit Lanlivery Church, to present one of the stories from Open the Book to people of other churches who were interested in forming their own Open the Book Teams. We felt quite privileged to be asked to do this and set off with our props, some to use and some to show how they can be made.
On the previous day we had told the story of the Baptism of Jesus to the children at Biscovey Academy, with a very authentic John the Baptist in Jill, telling everyone to change their ways and we had several children taking part as those baptised by John, no real water was in evidence just a shimmering piece of voile in shades of mauve and blue which, on a pole that was raised over each of them, was very effective. We told the same story at Lanlivery and used adults from our audience, while trying to get them dressed they were more excitable than the children! The story was well received on both days and our assortment of knitted props, sausages, fruit, vegetables, you name it Julia can knit it, went down well at Lanlivery.
This week we told the story of the miracle catch of fish before Peter and his fishermen friends were asked to follow Jesus. We now have two boats and lots of knitted fish (courtesy of Marg) which were thrown from our “real” fishing net onto the shore, to the amusement of the children. Chris was kept very busy on the tiller, a large broom borrowed from the school cleaners!
A Brief History of our Participation in "Open the Book"
Our Parish is registered with the Christian Charity “Open the Book”. This project gives primary school children an opportunity to hear the major stories of the bible, by using costumes and props in ways which enable the children to engage imaginatively with the bible story. The stories are presented chronologically during the school year.
Our group of ten leads weekly assembly at Biscovey Nursery and Infant Community School, where we are enhancing the children's understanding of our Country's Christian heritage, and furthering the links between ourselves and the local infants' school.
2015 was the last year of our first three year cycle year and we are now starting the whole cycle again, only this time we know fully what it involves.
Our co-ordinator for this project is Mrs Jan Wilder- email: email@example.com
Initially, our team didn't realise the enormity of the task we would be undertaking, when we answered the urgent request from Biscovey Infant school in February 2013. Once we were registered we were soon formulating ideas collecting materials, cardboard, paints and glue. Scissors were red hot and Micky’s sewing machine went into overdrive, producing costumes in all the colours, shapes and sizes. Donations of cuddly toys, bed linen and curtains were gratefully snapped up, and the cupboard in Biscovey Church Rooms yielded many useful treasures that had not seen the light of day for years.
When the new school year began, in September 2013, our debut had us quaking in our shoes, even though we had staged a successful dress rehearsal as the Old Testament reading at St Mary’s in August. We need not have worried. The Headteacher Mr Pears, his staff and the children gave us an enthusiastic welcome.
We have told the stories of the Creation, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Noah’s Ark, complete with boat and animals, Joseph and his coat of many colours, and the Flight from Egypt. The children, playing the part of the Egyptian army, took great delight in throwing themselves to the ground when enveloped by the Red Sea. It’s surprising what you can do with 2 bits of blue cloth. We raised the roof of the school hall, when we involved the whole school in bringing the walls of Jericho down, it looked and sounded chaotic. The smaller children sat encircled as the people of Jericho, whilst the bigger children formed a circle around them to create the wall. The Israelite soldiers were played by 10 pupils, who with their captain and Joshua, enthusiastically marched round and round the walls, blowing their trumpets making as much noise as possible, and of course the walls came tumbling down. The expectancy of the children and their eagerness to listen and help has been more than encouraging.
Everyone involved has gained a great deal from this project. We have seen a renewal of our faith. As a team, the bond we have formed is very strong; some have discovered skills and strengths they didn’t know they had, others who had hidden their light away, came out of the darkness.