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An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series

by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools


To celebrate that God has a special role for each of us to play.

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.
  • A giant die.


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 wants to tell you what happened yesterday.
Lucy Jane’s friends came to play and they all wanted to ride on Scruff.
At first they couldn’t decide who should go first.

Ask the children how they could they decide who should go first. Do they have any ideas? Listen to a range of responses.

Suddenly, Lucy Jane had an idea. She ran inside and found a dice in her game of Snakes and Ladders.
‘We’ll roll the dice,’ she announced. ‘The one who gets the highest number can go first!’

Ask a number of children to roll the giant dice and see who rolls the highest number.

Katy rolled a six, and quickly climbed on to Scruff’s back. He had fine fun, trotting around the farmyard. He was very careful not to go too fast, as he didn’t want his young passengers falling off!
One by one the friends rolled the dice and had their turn.
Then they stood and watched the other children until everyone had had their go.

3. ‘Can we all go again?’ asked Sophie.
Lucy Jane looked at Scruff and saw that he was tired.
‘Scruff needs a rest now,’ she said, stroking his fur gently and giving him a nice bucket of water and a huge carrot!
‘Thank you, Scruff,’ everyone said as they stroked his back.

Take off Scruff.

4. Many years ago, at special times of the year, the priests in the big Temple in Jerusalem would take it in turns to go into the special holy place to pray to God. Only one priest each year was allowed into this special place. To decide which priest would be given this special job the priests did something similar to the children in today’s Scruff story!
Zechariah was a very old man when he was chosen to go into the special part of the Temple to pray. As Zechariah prayed he heard a voice saying ‘Your wife, Elizabeth, is going to have a son, and you will call him John. He will be God’s messenger. He will tell people about the coming king and tell them to say sorry for the wrong things they have done.'
Zechariah rubbed his eyes and his ears. How could this come true? Both he and Elizabeth were too old to have a baby! Perhaps he chuckled at the very idea!
But the voice spoke again and said, ‘I am the angel Gabriel and God has sent me to tell you this good news. But because you don’t believe my message, you will not be able to speak a word until the baby is born.'
All the people waiting for Zechariah wondered where he was. At last he stood in front of them. They saw the dazed look on his face and realised that he couldn’t speak to them. They wondered what Zechariah had seen in the special place.
They would have to wait until he was able to tell them!
The months went by and Elizabeth had a baby boy. All the neighbours came to see him and asked what he was going to be called. Everyone thought he would be called Zechariah, just like his dad. However, Zechariah had other plans! He asked for something to write on and wrote in big letters ‘His name is John!’ just as the angel had told him.
John grew up to be a very special person. We often refer to him as John the Baptist. He was the cousin of Jesus.

Time for reflection

Do you think God speaks to us? How do you think this happens?
Christians believe that God shows us how much he loves us by giving us a beautiful world to live in and people to care for us.
They also believe that he speaks to us in other ways.
Sometimes we need to be quiet and listen.

Dear God,
Thank you that you listen when we talk to you.
Please help us to listen when You speak to us.


'Peace be in our waking' (Come and Praise)

Publication date: December 2015   (Vol.17 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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