Theological am dram

Author: Eunice Norwood

Published on: 2 December 2018

Children love stories and each week thousands of primary aged children nationally have the chance to experience and engage with great classic stories from the Bible through the Open the Book initiative.

Open the Book, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019, involves Christians from local churches forming a team who then go into their local school – usually once a week or fortnightly – to present a story during an assembly/act of Collective Worship. Each scripted presentation, takes around 10-15 minutes and includes a dramatised telling of the story taken from the Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman. Registered storytellers can purchase the storytelling materials which are presented on a three-year rolling programme with an additional, but optional year of material based on Christian Values.

Eunice Norwood tells their story: “The handful of Diocesan Mothers’ Union members in the very large Heart of Norfolk Benefice, were looking for a project that would benefit the work of the church and encompass the aims and objectives of the Mothers’ Union. Open the Book was perfect for us, it answered our 5th object ‘to teach children the faith.’ We knew we were not strong enough to go it alone and recruited from amongst our 13 churches and the local Baptist Church.

In September 2017 with a team of seven we were warmly welcomed at St Mary’s CofE Primary School in North Elmham. This September, having increased our numbers to 10, we started in All Saints Primary School, Stibbard. As the children filed out of the hall, the Assistant Head brought a young lad to us and asked him to repeat what he had said to her, he gave a huge grin and said “That was the best assembly EVER”. Another teacher said, “That was fantastic, I can’t wait till the next one!’. So I think we are appreciated.

In July of this year we gave a presentation of ‘The Marvellous Picnic’ (John 6:1-14) at our benefice service to raise awareness of the project and to encourage the gathered community with visual evidence of outreach and potential growth. From that service there has come a further request to take it into a 3rd school, which we would love to do if we can recruit more team members.

Do the children talk about Open the Book at home? We may never know, but perhaps they might retell the story they heard and then who knows what seeds of faith are being sown?”

If you enjoy being part of a team and want to ensure that the children in your parish hear the story of the Bible in an exciting and interactive way, then Open the Book could be for you.

Contact for more information or visit

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