Open the Book

OTB and pupils

The 100th Open the Book Team in Cornwall is now up and running in Egloskerry Primary School and St Catherine’s C of E School, Launceston.

Open the Book celebrated ten years in Cornwall in October 2015. The 100 teams currently visit 138 schools with another five schools (three teams) in the process of setting up.

The 100th team have just started going into St Catherine’s weekly and Egloskerry on a bi-weekly basis.

Individual members of the team, who didn’t know each other well before, began exploring the idea of creating a team some time ago and were brought together by the common aim of providing an Open the Book team.

One member Jayne had previous experience of Open the Book from the school’s perspective, having previously been head-teacher at Marhamchurch C of E School. She said: “I knew that this was what I was being prompted to do when I retired.”

During the Open the Book training process it was emphasised that working ecumenically was always beneficial. With that in mind, the group includes people from the local Methodist Church, Assemblies of God Church and Church of England.

With the backing of prayer and funding for props from local churches, Launceston’s team were able to start up fairly quickly following training. Sarah said: “I feel as though I am serving God, it is a wonderful opportunity.”

Chris added: “It’s about making it really fun for the children who may have previously thought that ‘church’ was boring.”

Jayne pointed out that you might be surprised about what you can do. “Some people have stepped into roles that they said that they didn’t want to do and they have done brilliantly… when God asks you to do something, he gives you the skills.”

So far they have experienced an incredibly positive response to the assemblies. The schools have been really welcoming and the children really enjoy it. A child from St Catherine’s School saw one of the team members, Jayne, outside of school and asked “Are you the Open the Book lady? It’s brilliant. I love it.”

For anyone thinking of starting up or joining an Open the Book team, Launceston’s advice is “Get involved.”

Shelley Porter, Open the Book Team trainer added “I am of course delighted to have reached this milestone in our diocese and will continue to encourage parishes to go into schools where currently no team exists.  It is a privilege to hear of all the good quality work that teams are doing in telling the stories from the Bible, in an engaging and accessible way, to children and staff who often have not heard them before.”

For information about Open the Book, contact Shelley Porter shelley.porter@truro.anglican.org

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