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‘Hello, Scruff!'

A fairer world: Jesus clears the temple

by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1


To consider how we can make the world a fairer place for all.


Preparation and materials

  • This assembly forms the second part of the assembly ‘“Hello, Scruff!”: A May day celebration’, although it can be used alone. Simply make appropriate changes suggested in the ‘Assembly’, Step 2.
  • Familiarize yourself with the passage Matthew 21.12–13 on which the story in the ‘Assembly’, Step 9 is based.
  • 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.
  • Have available the song ‘Sometimes I wonder’ from Songs for EVERY Assembly (Out of the Ark Music, 1999) and the means to play it during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.


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. If following on from the assembly ‘“Hello, Scruff!”: A May day celebration’, say the following. If not, adjust accordingly, setting the scene for Lucy being crowned May Queen and so attending the May day celebrations.

Scruff wants to tell you what happened after Lucy Jane was crowned May Queen.


3. There were lots of exciting things to do in the park – a bouncy castle, lucky dip, stalls selling sweets, delicious home-made cakes and biscuits, toys and games and, when people got hungry, there was a barbeque selling hotdogs and burgers, plus an ice-cream van.

What would you like to do in the park?


4. The village had decided that all the money raised would be given to support an orphanage in Africa.


5. Lots of boys and girls came to see Scruff and the brightly coloured wagon he was pulling Lucy Jane around in, which gave Lucy Jane a good idea. ‘Dad, I’d like to raise some money for the children. Can Scruff and I give rides around the park? We could charge 50p.’ Farmer Brown said they could, but, because the wagon was small, Lucy Jane could only take two children at a time.


6. The rides were very popular and so, for the rest of the afternoon, Lucy Jane and Scruff were busy trotting around the park, with Farmer Brown leading the way, making sure everyone was safe.


7. At 6 o’clock, Mrs B. thought it was time for Lucy Jane to have something to eat from the barbeque, followed by an ice-cream. Scruff would have to wait until they got home for his food!


8. Back at the stable, as Lucy Jane was feeding Scruff, she said, ‘I’ve had a lovely time today. Have you, Scruff?’

‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ nodded Scruff.

‘I’m going to ask Dad how much we raised for the children.’

Can you work it out? Scruff pulled the small wagon 20 times around the park, carrying 2 passengers each time. They each paid 50p.

Take Scruff off.


9. Now let’s listen to one of Scruff’s favourite Bible stories.

Jesus clears the temple

After Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, he went straight to the temple. It was festival time, so there were people everywhere, wanting to buy doves or a lamb to give to God to say ‘thank you’ for caring for them.

Inside the walls of the temple, there were greedy people, selling doves and lambs and charging very high prices. They were cheating many poor people.

Jesus looked around and was very angry; so angry, indeed, that he started turning over their tables, scattering the birds and the animals and chasing the traders out into the street! He shouted after them, ‘My Father’s house should be a place to pray, but you have made it a den of thieves!’

Time for reflection

Can you think of things that are unfair and wrong?

Listen to the song ‘Sometimes I wonder’.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for special buildings where we can go to pray. 
Thank you that you can talk to us anywhere and you show us how we can help other people.


‘Praise Him’ (Come and Praise, 40)

Publication date: March 2015   (Vol.17 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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