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'Hello, Scruff!' - a sad day

Jesus is arrested and crucified

by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools


To reflect on the difficult things that can happen to us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.


  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!

  2. Scruff wondered where Lucy Jane was. He had seen her come back from school in the car with her mum. They had both gone straight into the farmhouse kitchen, where Lucy Jane usually had a quick drink of milk and a biscuit before running over to the stable, but not today. 

    It seemed a very long time before she came across the farmyard and said, ‘I can’t stay long, Scruff. Mum had some sad news this afternoon.’

    Have you ever had sad news? What would make you sad?

    ‘Auntie Sue rang to tell her that Uncle Bob has had a car accident. She’s with him at the hospital and said she’d ring again to let us know how he is. I’ll get your tea, then I’m going to be with Mum.’

    It was nearly dark when Lucy Jane came back. She ran across to Scruff, held him tightly around the neck and buried her head into his thick coat. She was crying.

    Who helps you when you are sad?

    ‘Uncle Bob has died. It’s not fair! He was my favourite uncle. We always had lots of fun when he came for tea and now, he’s dead. It’s not fair! Why do bad things happen to good people, Scruff?’

    Do you think Scruff knew the answer?

    Take Scruff off.

  3. It’s a very difficult question. Jesus’ friends would soon be left wondering why bad things had happened to him, on the day we call Good Friday.

    Mark was feeling miserable. Suddenly, everything had gone horribly wrong. Jesus and his friends had met to share a meal in the upstairs room that had been prepared for them. He saw Judas leave and wondered where he was going on his own, but, soon after, Jesus and his friends left the house, too. Mark was curious and decided to follow them. 

    They went into a quiet garden of olive trees. Mark found it easy to hide himself. He watched as Jesus knelt by himself to pray and as, one by one, his friends fell asleep on the ground. 

    Suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of a large group of armed me coming into the garden. Why was Judas leading them? Why did he go up to Jesus and kiss him?

    Then the men grabbed hold of Jesus and led him away. Mark was so frightened, he ran away, back to his house to tell his mother what had happened.

  4. The next day, the soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross on the hill outside the walls of the city and watched him die. How could they do such a cruel thing to such a good man? Didn’t they know that Jesus came to show us what God is like and help us make sense of all the wrong things that happen?

Time for reflection

Spend a moment thinking about the bad things that happen to us and how other people often help us to feel better. 

Dear Jesus, 
We are sorry that you were hung on a cross to die. 
Help us to be sorry when we do or say things that hurt others. 


I danced in the morning (Come and Praise, 22)

Publication date: April 2014   (Vol.16 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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