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Peace Babies

To celebrate peace and peace-making

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To celebrate peace and peace-making.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a packet of Bassett's Jelly Babies.
  • You will need to display the words 'Happy are those who work for peace: God will call them his children!' found in Matthew 5.9.

Assembly

  1. Produce the packet of jelly babies. Identify the different colours and flavours: strawberry, lime, blackcurrant, lemon, raspberry, and orange. Which are most popular? You could conduct a quick opinion poll.

  2. Explain that 'jelly babies' were first launched in 1918 to celebrate the end of the First World War. They were called 'Peace Babies' and quickly became popular. During the Second World War production ceased because of a shortage of ingredients. They were 'reborn' in 1953, renamed 'Jelly Babies'.

  3. Invite the children to consider why the sale of Jelly Babies was a good way to celebrate peace. Reflect that the Peace Babies marked a new beginning (babies). They showed that life was returning to normal and could be fun again (jelly sweet).

  4. Explain that in 1989 each of the six 'babies' was given a name and an identity. Refer to the illustrations and descriptions on the Bassett's packaging. Pink Baby Bonny wears a nappy and frilly bonnet. She is always crawling into mischief! Boofuls is soft-hearted and cries a lot, even when he is happy! Bumper is orange, wears a bum-bag, and bumps into things! Bubbles has her hair in a ponytail and is yellow. Bigheart is grey and always puts his friends first. Brilliant is the red leader of the gang.

    Peace is enjoyed when people of different ages, interests and appearances live together in harmony. (Wouldn't a bag of jelly babies be dull if the sweets were all one colour and flavour!)

  5. Suggest that there's a sense in which we all can be 'Peace Babies'. Display this saying of Jesus:

    'Happy are those who work for peace: God will call them his children!' (Matthew 5.9, Good News Bible)

    Invite everyone to consider how they can 'work for peace'. You may wish to record the suggestions using different coloured pens. Some ideas might include: trying to listen and learn from other people instead of arguing; counting to ten before responding; finding out about different ways of living.

    Refer back to the bag of sweets. Working for peace doesn't mean being soft (like a jelly baby). It calls for a strong commitment to friendship, fairness, being ready to share, and celebrating the good things of life together.

    Pass the sweets around and invite everyone to enjoy a peace baby!

Time for reflection

Loving God,
help us to work for peace,
and to pray for peace,
believing that all people are your children.
Amen.

Song/music

'Let the world rejoice together' (Come and Praise, 148)

Publication date: March 2004   (Vol.6 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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