We are a small team of volunteers who deliver dramatised stories from the Bible to children in school. Over the last 2 years we have gone into several schools in Wednesbury but, as our larger team of volunteers lost members as a result of jobs, illness etc, we have had to reduce the number of schools we visit to make it more manageable. One of our regular schools is St John's C of E Primary Academy and another is Old Park Primary School. We are always made very welcome and value the relationship we have built up over time. In addition, Marg has gone into a nursery to read short simplified Bible stories to the children.
We have a lot of fun at our rehearsals, with lots of laughter. We value the support we give to each other, too. It is a rewarding experience for all of us. If anybody is interested in joining us please contact the church via the Contact page and Father Mark will pass on a message to us. Or, send a message on Facebook and Wendy will get back to you.
Our Open the Book team continues to take dramatised Bible stories into some local primary schools. Currently they visit St John’s Church of England Primary Academy and Old Park Primary School. We were pleased to welcome Holyhead Primary Academy to Church for their Christmas service in December, too.
CHARITY FOR 2019 As a group we would like to support a charity that has children as its focus. It is a non-profit charity that tries to help children around the world by removing one of the hurdles on their way to an education - the cost of a pen. We thought this might be a good charity for us to support because no money is being requested; only old/new unwanted stationery. Have a look at their website:tp://www.pensforkids.co.uk/… Also, they have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PensForKidsUK/about/?ref=page_internal(check the ‘About’ tab first) Working for children’s ministry in our church, wouldn’t it be nice if our Sunday Club and Open the Book teams might be able to send pens, pencils and colouring pencils to this charity? Can you possibly donate any unwanted stationery you have that is sitting in drawers and cupboards at home and not being used, please? Alternatively, if you wish to donate new stationery that is great. Any donations will be very welcome and will help a lot of children who are not so fortunate as us. You can donate these in a number of ways: (1) Bring them to Church (speak to Wendy Bird, Marg Wood, Lynn Castillo, Linda Russell, Alison O’Neill or Claire Yardley); (2) Pass them on to somebody you know who goes to our Church or is a member of the Craft Club; (3) Look on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury/) and Wendy will get back to you. ----------
On 26th March our Open the Book team visited St John’s C of E Primary Academy to tell the story of Jesus’ Special Friends. Marg narrated the story, Linda played Jesus and Mario was Peter, the fisherman. Jesus asked Peter to take him away from the shore in his boat so he could speak to the crowd that had gathered. After he had spoken he asked Peter to take the boat farther out and to drop the nets but Peter was surprised as he had not caught any fish the previous evening and was certain he wouldn’t catch anything but he did as Jesus asked. Suddenly the nets were bulging with so many fish he couldn’t pull them aboard and shouted for help from his friends. Lynn, Claire and Wendy played the fishermen and they sailed out to help Peter. They did a cracking job rowing their boats and in no time at all they helped Peter pull in the catch. There were so many fish that they were jumping all over the boat. There was even a shark! Some young children from the nursery on the front row threw fish and did a fantastic job, as did Lynn, Claire and Wendy. The story ended with Jesus asking all the fishermen to follow him.
This morning (12th March) our Open the Book team told the story of when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. Marg did her usual great job as the narrator; Lynn was Jesus (and she prepared the script, also); Mario was a religious leader with a couple of the pupils; Claire was a member of the crowd with 3 of the pupils and Wendy took on the role of John. As John, Wendy had to wear a camel coat that was very itchy and she had to eat a locust. Yuk! (Well - the children thought she had eaten it but, in fact, it was just a few Quavers, which was just as well as she is a vegetarian!) John baptised the members of the crowd and, finally, baptised Jesus. Mario sang beautifully the song ‘Ten Thousand Reasons’ which was a lovely end to the story. ----------
In December 2018 we performed 'The New Noisy Neighbour' during the Christingle service and the Crib service. Some of the children took on some roles and did a great job.
Bible Society filming During the summer of 2017 we were privileged to be chosen to be filmed by the Bible Society. As a result of this we are featured in a training video and training materials, banners and the Open the Book newsletter. More recently we were approached by Premier Christian magazine who wanted to included the team's activities in their 'Diary of a Church' article.
Here are some Tweets from the Bible Society Twitter account about Open the Book. They feature images and what we said during the filming we did with them and a quote from one of the pupils.
When the Church had a Christmas Tree festival in 2015, Marg suggested we make our own decorations for the Open the Book's tree. Here are some of them:
Meet members of the team, past and present, including Norman our puppet.
We always have fun when delivering the stories. This is a collection of some of them:
This is not something you see every day! The residents by the school must now be used to us arriving with all sorts of props.
TRAINING AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, OLD HILL On Saturday 29th September, Claire and Wendy represented our Open the Book team at Holy Trinity Church in Old Hill. Alan Darby invited us to join their training morning some weeks previously and asked if we could share ideas and take some props with us. We were given a lovely welcome from Lynn Satchell (Regional Training and Development Officer for the West Midlands), Alan Darby, his wife Dianne and the other members of their teams and visitors. We took a variety of clothes, backdrops and props. Everybody appeared to be impressed by them and were pleased to see that it doesn't always require a lot of difficult work to produce them. They loved our camels (of course - we wouldn't expect anything else from our stars!) and they were very well behaved, professional as always. The attendees were impressed by the simple tabard design used in a variety of materials to produce simple and effective costumes. They liked our rain maker and storm tube and took photos, saying they were going to purchase them. To be honest, they seemed to like all of our props. It was great to see that Open the Book are still using the training backdrops and video in which we are featured. (See the photos below that I took from the video shown during the morning.) We enjoyed some delicious refreshments; thank you to Dianne Darby and the rest of the team.