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Open the Book - open the doors

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Dec, 2019 05:52 PM

Open the Book seemed the perfect solution when a Wiltshire Benefice tasked its new lay Pastoral Assistant with building on the relationship between church and school.

Margaret Manley, LPA in the Benefice of Lyneham and Woodhill takes up the story:

"One of my specified roles is to work with, and continue to build, the relationship between our local school and church.

"At a time when Sunday has become more and more a day of leisure and sport, I feel that if the children don’t come to us, then we must go to them, so taking Open the Book into school is ideal. In our relatively small village 10 enthusiastic volunteer storytellers came forward -some coming out of comfort zones - were trained, and safely recruited.

"Our fortnightly sessions started in September and have been well received by the children and teachers. The children enjoy taking part in the stories, dressing up and getting their sticker at the end of the session.

"When I see the children at School now, they ask 'When are you coming to tell us another story?' 'Can I help at the next Open the Book?' 'I want to find out what happens to Joseph' and 'I love Open the Book!'

"So our Open the Book seed has been planted, is growing and flourishing and hopefully will stay with the children for ever; reinforcing both the Christian and School values."

Open the Book, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, gives primary school children the opportunity to hear Bible stories from a team of Christians from local churches who present the stories during assemblies and acts of Collective Worship.

Each presentation takes around 10-15 minutes and can be incorporated into a wider assembly or can stand alone. It is a 3-year rolling programme, with an additional but optional year of materials based on Christian values for schools.

For more information, go to

If your church and school celebrated with Open the Book this year, let us know as we would love to feature your work in Grapevine.

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