Giggles, Chuckles and Laughs!

Author: Susan Garrod

Published on: 30 March 2018

We formed our Open the Book Team, last July 2017 after three of us went to a Open the Book Initial Team Training Day, with Mrs Irene Nickerson.

This was such a great day and so inspiring that we went back to our church St Margarets in Lowestoft, and with the support of our Rector and church family, and a presentation from St Andrews Open the Book team we set up a team of 14 people, this allows us to be flexible and cover for work shifts, holidays and sickness.

In August we started to rehearse the first story. It soon became apparent that costs of costumes, props, books etc. could become a problem so to help fund the setting up and running we contacted the Diocese. All the staff at Diocesan House have been so helpful with any questions we had, and we applied to the Sharing Good News Fund. The application was very easy and straight forward and funds were in the church bank account within three weeks. This has been such a great help which has allowed us to purchase the necessary materials for costumes, scenery, books, bibles and identity badges and DBS checks. We are fortunate that groups within our church have helped us with their different skills, and so become part of spreading God’s Word to the children.

We were very fortunate in that the Open the Book Training Officer Mrs Irene Nickerson was able to come and give the team a training session in our own church, this was a great help to us all.

Our team is now going into two schools, St Margaret’s Primary Academy and Northfield St Nicholas Primary Academy at moment we are going into each one once a month as we have to work with the schools time tables. We are only ordinary people, not actors or professional stage people, and it was a bit daunting for the first couple of times standing in front of 200 plus children and teachers and acting out the story. But to see their attentive faces, while the story is being told, and the smiling faces and positive comments at the end of the story as they file out is so fantastic. The children are now looking forward to the next story and asking when we will be back. They also remember the last story as we ask in lead up to this new presentation, to try to show the links from story to story. For the first presentations we only used team members, but in the Noah’s Ark story we used the children to make the sound of rain. In the Abraham story they did the giggles, chuckles and laughs. We have involved the whole school and it has been very successful; children love to make a noise! From the story of Joseph we are just going to have a small number of children as brothers and be part of the story under an adult team member as lead brother.

The response from the teachers has also been very positive, we are learning from each presentation, and gaining in confidence and experience with each story.

The team also get so much enjoyment from seeing the Bible stories in a new light as we engage with the children. We are indeed very lucky to be able to be part of spreading God’s Word to the children.

With the benefit of the Sharing Good News Fund we are able to gradually build up a store of multiuse costumes and props. We go forward with our trust in our Lord Jesus to guide us to spread his light.

The author...

No Image Found

Susan Garrod

Open the Book Co-ordinator, St Margaret’s Church, Lowestoft

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

Cooking up some fantastic ‘outcomes’

The parish church of St Cuthbert’s in Thetford is a lovely Grade II* Listed building, basically 13th century, but with Victorian and 20th century additions, in the town centre.


Summertime and the upkeep is easy

With the summer approaching and the days being longer and lighter, we want our churches to look their best.


Fake News! Finance FAQs & myths

At the recent Benefice support meetings held in November 2017, we discovered that there were some recurring questions, so we thought it might be helpful to share these and the answers with you.


School Governors

I appreciate that many PCC members will feel that they don’t have enough time to do their PCC member duties, so the thought of taking on another role is not worth contemplating, but please think again.


Tea and Tissues

First day at school can be an emotional time for children as well as parents and grandparents; frequently with a tear shed.


A competitive sport?

Bells have been ringing from churches around the world for many centuries, but the ‘changeringing’ that we are familiar with became popular in England in the 17th century.


Food & fun in school holidays

FISH (Food (and Fun) In School Holidays) is a project facilitated by Norwich Foodbank to support families in need with meals during the school holidays.


A Stroll Down Memory Lane

The village history day on November 4 fulfilled our expectations when nearly 300 visitors came to see hundreds of old photos, maps and aerial views of the village as it once was.


Planning for the Past

This year sees the conclusion of our World War One commemorations when we mark the centenary of the Armistice signed on 11 November 1918.


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter