One thing I love, apart from writing, is taking part in Open The Book.
What is that?
It is part of the Bible Society’s national Open The Book project which has been running for some ten years and now involves 14,000 volunteers in 2,500 schools throughout the country. Children in primary schools are hearing and seeing stories from the Bible every week, read and acted by groups of volunteers from a dozen different churches.
I agree with this statement from the Bible Society.
Today many children could miss out on the great classic stories from the Bible – Noah, Daniel and the life of Jesus could be closed chapters if youngsters don’t get an opportunity to engage with the Bible. That’s why Open The Book is so important. Volunteers use drama, mime, props and costumes to present the stories in lively and informative ways.
I remember a few years ago hearing Jeremy Paxman on the radio. He said he was amazed at the lack of knowledge of the Bible by otherwise well educated young people, such as those on University Challenge. He commented that, regardless of your faith, the Bible is an important part of our heritage, along with Shakespeare and Chaucer. It has influenced our language, our laws, and our culture. We should at least know what is in it, even if we want to move on away from it. I quite agree.
What is happening in Warrington?
So far Open The Book has been welcomed in five schools in West Warrington, involving 29 volunteers from 9 churches. There are also groups in Appleton and Thelwall. The latest school to join is Meadowside Primary in Orford, where the new team has made a good start but they need more volunteers. Of course, if there were more volunteers in other parts of the town, more schools could have such presentations.
What about me?
I was one of the earliest volunteers in Warrington in 2014 when Rev. Paul Hockley of St Paul’s Penketh led a team of five from three churches to bring the stories to Penketh Primary. I loved it from the start. It is so simple and takes up only an hour a week, yet it is so rewarding. You do not need any special skills or experience. The material speaks for itself.
Want to know more?
Open The Book Week is from 12th to 19th February and it is a good time for schools, churches, parents or anyone to find out more from the Bible Society’s website: www.openthebook.net or from Linda Murdoch, co-ordinator of the West Warrington Team, on 01925 6637466. Or just ask me.