St. Mark’s Reflection Spaces

It was a pleasure to be invited to St Marks CE Primary School to refresh the reflection spaces in each class and enable the children to be part of them.
We used the theme of transitioning as the children move into a new school year or onto Secondary school.
After listening to the head teacher’s brief, we designed and created everything they needed and headed into school for a few days.
Each individual space began with a story on the following themes:
Reception: Next Steps
Year One: Going Up
Year Two: On Our Way
Year Three: Travelling Along
Year Four: On A Journey
Year Five: Moving On
Year Six: Waving Goodbye
The team had the opportunity to listen to the children as they created items to add to their own spaces, some were excited to be going up to another class and others expressed concerns about moving on to secondary.
Nairne, the teams newest member, was able to experience teaching an activity to a larger class of thirty children for the first time and said: The dynamics are very different to when teaching a small group music’.

The classes were given a children’s Bible to add to their space and the school have decided to add a piece of blue cloth to show all the displays throughout the school are linked to one another.

A small display was created in the school hallway with small snippets of everything that the children had made.  They also left a Lion Storyteller Bible for children to use, which was the version of the Bible used for the class stories.

It was a pleasure to be at the school as the sun streamed into the classrooms; Kerry, our Schools Team Leader, said: ‘We really enjoyed working with the children in each year group.  They all engaged with the activities to create interesting spaces for their current classes that can then be taken with them into their new classes next year.  We even took part in the fire drill which reminded us of our own school days!’

Everyone should be allowed to speak!

We, as the Rest Homes team, visit many nursing, care, and rest homes across the city and beyond. Last week we were visiting an Elderly and Mentally Infirm (EMI) home in Hove, who specialise in dementia. After singing in the lounge, we were asked to visit a resident is her room. The resident is bed bound and the staff are very concerned that she is spending too much time in her room on her own. She is the only resident who isn’t mobile, so the activity coordinator doesn’t have much time to spend with her as her time is needed for the majority of residents who are are able to congregate in the lounge. We were taken to the resident’s room and we sang ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ together, which was followed by a little chat and, as is normal with dementia, the conversation was a little disjointed. However, what the resident did say was “everyone should be allowed to speak”! Everyone in the room was so moved by this as it was her way of saying she hadn’t had anyone to speak to.
So often, people, apart from immediate family, stop visiting those suffering with dementia. They need company and someone to take an interest in them, as we all do. They may not be able to hold a conventional conversation or remember being visited, however the good feelings of being loved and cared for last long after the memory of the visit has gone. We would really appreciate so many more volunteers to visit people in the rest homes because “everyone should be allowed to speak”!
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please e-mail for more information.

Open the Book update

Our Schools Team have been busy training Open the Book storytellers across East and West Sussex over the last year or so.

We are now delighted to announce that one of our supporting churches, Holland Road Baptist Church, is leading the way by creating the first Open the Book Team in Brighton and Hove, with members from all church backgrounds.  Helen Wheeler heading up the group said she was delighted to have got a team together and to be sharing brilliant Bible stories in local school.
It was back in 2015 when the initial seeds were sewn, during a meeting with our Schools Team Leader Kerry, Director Julian, and the outgoing Chichester Diocese Education Director, Can. Revd. Anne Holt, who has championed Open the Book since she came to the Diocese.  She is said to be pleased that an ecumenical group has now started the work in our City.
Holland Road Baptist Church kick started the assemblies by supporting St Martins CE School.  The storytellers and the children really enjoyed the interactive and fun assembly.
Head teacher Alex Wingham has booked more assemblies during this Summer term that match the values being looked at during Collective Worship time.  It is hoped the team will visit regularly in the new school year.
If you would like to get involved or find out more, please call our Schools Team at head office or email

BCDO 2018

Our Schools team assisted Open the Book by storytelling to children at Big Church Day Out South on the 26th – 27th May 2018. The bank holiday weekend saw a mixture of weathers and although it rained during the evening both days were really sunny.
Located in the ‘Field Of Fun’, (Kid’s Area) Nairne, Becky, Kerry, Lloyd, and some of our volunteers were telling many stories from the Bible in typical Open the Book style. They drew the crowds as the children could get involved in the stories and in some cases took a staring role!
Julian, our Mission Director, was also on site volunteering for the artist liaison and transport team. His job was to transport performers across the site to the various stages. He was also very excited that he got to drive a Land Rover!
It was such a blessing to be part of and support what was going on at this festival! You may see us back next year!

Open the Book June 2018

We have two opportunities to train in Open the Book storytelling led by our Schools team in June and July –