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The Life of Catherine Booth

Assembly to accompany the book ‘A World of Difference’ by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To consider the life of Catherine Booth.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the book A World of Difference by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017. The story of Catherine Booth can be found on pages 77-83.

  • You will need an image of Catherine Booth and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at:

  • If possible, ask some children who are learning musical instruments to play them for the other children. If a brass player is available, that would be particularly good!
  • Have available some images of brass instruments. You will also need the means to display these during the assembly. Examples could include:

    - a trumpet, available at:
    - a French horn, available at:
    - a trombone, available at:
    - a euphonium, available at:
    - a tuba, available at:

  • Optional: you may wish to play a song from the YouTube video ‘Favourite Hymn Tunes’, in which case you will also need the means to do so. The whole video is 4.35 minutes long and is available at:

  • More information about the Salvation Army is available at:


  1. Ask if any of the children play musical instruments.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    If possible, invite the prearranged children to play their instruments.

  2. Explain that there are many different types of musical instruments. They are organized into groups or families: strings, woodwind, brass, percussion and keyboard.

  3. Show each of the images of brass instruments in turn.

    Ask the children if they can name any of them.

  4. Explain that brass instruments can play together in a brass band.

    Play the YouTube video ‘Favourite Hymn Tunes’, which shows a Salvation Army band playing hymns in the street.

  5. Show the image of Catherine Booth.

    Explain that the woman in today’s story has a connection to brass bands. Ask the children to spot the connection as they listen to the story.

  6. Read the story of Catherine Booth found in the book A World of Difference, pages 77-83.

Time for reflection

Ask the children if they have ever heard brass bands playing in the street.

It is still common to hear Salvation Army brass bands playing in the open air, especially at Christmastime. The money that they raise is used for many projects that help the homeless, the elderly, children, families and people with all sorts of problems.

Catherine, William and their families didn’t just see people in need – they did something about it!

Let’s make a special effort today to look around us in school and see if we can spot someone in need. It doesn’t matter how small that need is – let’s see if we can help in some way.

Dear God,
Please help us to take the time to look and see if there are people who need our help.
Please help us not just to see a need, but to do something about it.
Thank you for people like Catherine Booth who spent their lives making a difference.
Thank you that they saw the importance of every person.
Thank you that the work they began is still carrying on today.

Further resources

Further resources can be found at:

- Catherine Booth - diary

- Catherine Booth - The Band

- Catherine Booth - discussion questions

- Catherine Booth - extra activities

More resources about Catherine Booth are available at:

Publication date: October 2017   (Vol.19 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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