Open the Book
St Mary’s and St Augustines are active supporters of the Bible Society’s initiative to introduce primary school children to the Bible through dramatic story telling.
We have been participating in regular assemblies at Ticehurst Primary school since 2018. Our PCC initially gathered together ten volunteers including our previous vicar and his wife. We participated in training with other enthusiastic parish groups in Hastings.
It took a few weeks of organising and liaising with the school for us to get going. We gathered together a suitcase of costumes and made some backdrops and were ready for our first dramatic offering.
We were all a bit nervous to start with but the children seemed to enjoy it even though all the players were the wrong side of sixty. We organised it so that our vicar did one week and the whole team did the intermediate weeks.
We started to get the hang of it and improve and tried to include children in the productions, even if it was only with sound effects which they love. We were all delighted when the children recognised us in the village with greetings like – “ I know you – you’re from the bible!”
Things got difficult during Covid and sadly we had to lose several months but we did manage to produce a couple of Christmas offerings via Zoom and filmed in St.Mary’s Church. We all enjoyed it tremendously after the lockdown and we could hear the children reacting in their classrooms.
We have lost some participants and gained others and now number eight in total, although we do hope that our new vicar will be willing to join the team. We are carrying on during the interregnum as best we can and the children still seem very enthusiastic and are always begging to be included.
The children’s costumes are starting to suffer from wear, so we will have to have a drive to stitch some more. We all feel that it is a very important part of the children’s education to have some knowledge of the bible and its teachings even if they do not attend church.
One of our members is also encouraging primary school children to join the children’s choir once a month for the All Age Service. We are always very happy to welcome new recruits to our team and especially need some more men. We have just prepared the programme for spring 2024.
If you would like to be part of the Open the Book team, whether to support by making costumes or to join us at the school please contact Marian Cook