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Lent - Making Pancakes

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To reflect on the origins of Shrove Tuesday by making pancakes, and to consider the significance of Lent for Christians.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available a box that contains a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a frying pan and the ingredients for a pancake recipe:

    - 120g plain flour
    a pinch of salt
    - 2 eggs
    - 210ml milk
    - 90ml water
    - 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    - some butter for frying

  • You may wish to cook the pancakes as part of the assembly, in which case you would need the appropriate mini-oven and a frying pan. Remember to take note of your school’s health and safety guidelines.

    Alternatively, you may simply want to make the mixture during the assembly. Another alternative is to ask the school cook to fry a pancake so that it is ready for the end of the assembly.

  • The story of Jesus in the wilderness can be found in Luke 4.1-14.


  1. Explain to the children that you have been clearing out your fridge and cupboards, and you have brought some of the contents into school to show them.

  2. Show the box to the children and take out the ingredients one by one, leaving the kitchen equipment in the box.

    Tell the children that these were some of the items you found.

  3. Ask the children if they can suggest something that you could make with the ingredients. Agree that you will make a pancake.

  4. Take out the mixing bowl and wooden spoon.

    Involve the children in helping to put the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Choose different children to mix the ingredients.

  5. Take out the frying pan.

    Explain to the children how the mixture will need to be cooked in the pan. (Alternatively, cook the pancake in front of the children, remembering your schools health and safety guidelines.)

  6. Ask the children if they have ever heard of Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Day.

Time for reflection

Establish the following points.

- Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
- Lent, which is the 40 days before Easter, was traditionally a time for fasting. It reminded - and still reminds - Christians of the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying.
- On Shrove Tuesday, Christians would use up all the eggs and fats in the house. Pancakes were an easy way to do this.
- After eating the pancakes, Christians would go without luxurious foods all through Lent as they thought about getting ready for Easter.
- Today, some Christians give up sweets, chocolate or other rich foods during Lent.
- Today, some Christians also use the 40 days of Lent to do something worthwhile, such as supporting a charity, doing good deeds or helping others. They try to think about what other people need, rather than about things that they want for themselves.

Challenge the children to think about something that they could do in the run-up to Easter to help others or to focus their minds on helpful things.

In a few moments of stillness, ask the children to think about someone who needs help and about what they can do to make that persons situation better for the next few days.


‘Kum ba yah (Come and Praise, 68)

Follow-up ideas

  • Learn about the temptations of Jesus when he was in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. The story of Jesus in the wilderness can be found in Luke 4.1-14.

  • Find out how Lent is observed in a variety of Christian churches.
Publication date: March 2022   (Vol.24 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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