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To encourage a caring attitude towards others

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage a caring attitude towards others.

Preparation and materials

  • No preparation is needed but if the story of the Good Samaritan is preferred it can be found in Luke 10.29-37.
  • An OHP could be used for the prayer.
  • The song 'If I can help somebody' on the CD Bryn by Bryn Terfel could be playing as the children enter.


  1. Begin by discussing what we mean by our neighbours. We tend to think of neighbours as the people who live next door to us, but they could be the people we meet, or the people we sit next to, or even the people we meet on our way to school.

  2. We all have neighbours. Many of us live in an area where houses are grouped together, but do we always know our neighbours?

  3. Moving into a new neighbourhood can be a difficult experience, particularly if it is somewhere where you don't know anyone and have no friends. Many of the children will have some experience of this.

  4. Remind the children about their first day at school. No doubt some of them will remember how nervous and unsure they felt. But if they are made to feel welcome, friendships are soon formed and school becomes an enjoyable place.

  5. Unfortunately, there are people who do not have any friendly neighbours to give them a helping hand. But there are organizations that have been formed to help to improve these situations. Groups like Meals on Wheels, people who are home helps, and who shop for those who are housebound, district nurses, carers, the Salvation Army, etc. Some of these are volunteers who get no payment for what they do.

  6. Jesus said, 'Love your neighbour as yourself,' and he tells the story of the Good Samaritan. Read either the Good Samaritan story from Luke 10.29-37, or the following story:

    Mrs Pink was an elderly lady who lived all alone. She was always moaning about the people next door. They were called the Silver family. The children could sometimes be very noisy. They would throw things over her fence, which annoyed her intensely. She became so cross at times that it developed into quite a game for the children and they did it even more, just to annoy her.

    On the other side of Mrs Pink lived the Green family. They had a large house and plenty of money. They went in to see Mrs Pink from time to time and she gave them homemade jam, cakes, flowers, and fruit and vegetables from her garden.

    Across the road lived Mr and Mrs Grey. They were hardly ever at home because they both had very important jobs in the city and were always busy.

    Early one morning, when Mrs Pink was picking some vegetables in her garden she tripped and fell. She found that she was unable to get up. As she lay there she called out to try and attract someone's attention.

    The Green family heard her shouts but did not want to get involved so pretended not to hear her. They felt someone else would come to her aid.

    Mr and Mrs Grey were just leaving for work and were late as usual. They drove off pretending not to have heard the cries and didn't feel they had time to help.

    But Mrs Silver saw what was happening from her bedroom window. In no time at all she was at the old lady's side helping and reassuring her. Her children, too, played their part and stayed to help even though they should have been going to catch the bus for school. They were all genuinely concerned for Mrs Pink. Following their mother's instructions, one rang for the ambulance, while another fetched a blanket to keep the old lady warm.

    Mrs Pink was soon taken to Casualty. After an X-ray had been taken it was revealed that she had broken her leg. She had to stay in hospital for several days. The Silver family visited her every day.

    Mrs Green and Mrs Grey sent Get Well cards but did not go to see her.

    When Mrs Pink returned home Mrs Silver and her children continued to visit and help her. Mrs Pink no longer moaned about the noise, and enjoyed hearing the children playing in the garden. They in turn grew to like and respect her, and had no cause to annoy her. They all became good friends. Mrs Pink realized just how wrong her judgement had been. Now she really knew her neighbours.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Let us try to be thoughtful in whatever we do.
Teach us to be helpful and supportive to others.
Help us to help others,
not for the reward it brings
but because we know we are doing the right thing.

(This part could be displayed so that everyone can say it together.)
Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too.
Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too.
So may I grow more like you in all I say and do.


Today I will try to be thoughtful in whatever I do, to be helpful and supportive to others.


'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65)

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