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Pass it on

To celebrate SPCK’s work of passing on the Christian message for over 300 years.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To celebrate SPCK’s work of passing on the Christian message for over 300 years.

Preparation and materials

  • A few volunteers ready to ‘show and tell’ a favourite story – ‘I like this book. You should read it because . . .’

  • An old Bible, one or more modern children’s Bibles, a Bible storybook.

Assembly

  1. Allow some children to ‘show and tell’ their favourite books as suggested.
    Mention the colourful pictures, characters, etc. that make the book attractive.
    Ask each child if this would be a book s/he would recommend to others.
    Ask how many others have read the particular book.
    Make the comment, ‘So lots of people have found this to be a very good story.’
  2. Hold up the very old Bible without telling them what it is.
    Flick through a few of the pages.
    Would they be interested in reading this book? Probably not, because the writing is small, there are no pictures, and it would take a long time to read.
    What if this book had some exciting stories in it; what if it had the secret of a happy life; and what if it had information that would make us very wise?
  3. Tell the children that a long time ago there were not many books, and lots of boys and girls couldn’t read and write because there were few schools. Some people knew that the message in this book, the Bible, was very important, and they believed that the country of Britain needed to know this message. They decided that they would set up a society to try and get this message out to people. They gave it the name the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge – SPCK for short.
  4. The same people sat down and thought: ‘What do we need to do first? Clever people could certainly read this book, so we will publish a whole lot of Bibles and distribute them.’

    ‘But, then, what about farmers and servants and seamen?’ said one. ‘We want them to read the message too, but this publication would be too hard. Let’s write some of the stories more simply.’

    That must have worked because even the great sailor, called Horatio Nelson, wrote and asked for copies for his sailors.

    Then another person thought: ‘What about the children? We will have to make this book accessible to them.’

    ‘But a lot of them can’t read. Most of the children around here don’t even go to school,’  said another.

    ‘Well, we will just have to see about setting up some schools, won’t we, said the first.

    There were always lots of difficulties along the way, but these people thought that the message in the Bible was so important that they would have to overcome all the problems. And they did!

  5. Hold up children’s Bibles and Bible storybook.

    Even today, 300 years later, SPCK is publishing books about God that all sorts of people – from young to old – can read and understand. And today SPCK is using the internet to pass on this message to you.

    Show SPCK Assemblies website.

    Explain that teachers, ministers, Sunday-school teachers and parents can all go onto this website and download assemblies like this one every month.

    SPCK is also still publishing books for all sorts of people.

  6. That first group of people who set up SPCK such a long time ago would be pleased that other people still thought the Christian message important after 300 years and were still working to pass it on.

Time for reflection

Think about all the assemblies you have enjoyed in your school.
What has been your favourite?
What has been the most important thing you have learned?

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the work of SPCK.
Thank you that this organization has been faithful in teaching people about God’s message of love for 300 years.
Please bless and inspire all those who, through SPCK, write helpful materials for schools such as ours to use.
Amen.

Song/music

‘The best gift’ (Come and Praise, 59)

Publication date: March 2011   (Vol.13 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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