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Building Bridges

St Andrew’s Day is on 30 November

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the life of Saint Andrew, and how we can build bridges between people in our own lives.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Building Bridges) and the means to display them.
  • The stories about Andrew that appear in this assembly are taken from three Bible passages: John 1.35-42, John 6.1-13 and John 12.20-26.


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the children to identify the flag.

    Explain that this is the flag of Scotland, which is also known as the Saltire. It was displayed a lot during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.

  2. Show Slide 2.

    If you look closely at the flag of the UK, the Union Jack, you will see that the Saltire is incorporated there too.

    The patron saint of Scotland is St Andrew, and 30 November marks St Andrew’s Day, which is Scotland’s official national day. The cross on the Scottish flag represents the cross on which St Andrew was killed.

  3. So, who was St Andrew?

    Andrew was a fisherman, and one of the very first of Jesus’ disciples. He had a very special skill: he was really good at bringing people together. People like this are sometimes described as bridge-builders.

  4. It was Andrew who introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus. John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, had told Andrew about Jesus, and Andrew had realized Jesus’ significance. Andrew shared the message about Jesus with Simon Peter who, under his new name of Peter, eventually became the leader of the Early Church. Andrew built the bridge between Peter and Jesus.

  5. When Jesus wanted to feed a huge crowd of people who had been listening to him, it was Andrew who brought forward a young boy who had the only food available, five loaves and two fish. These became the resources for Jesus’ famous miracle, when he fed a crowd of more than 5,000 people. Andrew built the bridge between the boy and Jesus.

  6. Later, when another disciple, Philip, was approached by some Greeks who wanted to be introduced to Jesus, he went to Andrew to help him out of a difficult situation. The issue was whether it would be OK to bring together people who weren’t Jews and people who were Jews, because the two groups of people wouldn’t usually mix. Philip wasn’t sure whether his actions would cause trouble. Andrew was the one who helped Philip make the successful introduction. Andrew built the bridge between the two groups of people.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to think of some different types of bridge and describe them.

Listen to a range of responses.

Show Slide 3.

These are some simple beam bridges.

Show Slide 4.

This is a longer beam bridge that is supported by posts underneath.

Show Slide 5.

This is a famous arch bridge in Ironbridge, Shropshire.

Show Slide 6.

This is a famous suspension bridge in Bristol, the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Show Slide 7.

This is the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh. It is a very complicated type of bridge called a cantilever bridge.

Remind the children that the function of a bridge is to connect two things together. Explain that we can be bridge-builders between our friends. If someone falls out with a friend or feels like people are being unkind, we can try to make peace and help people to get back together again.

Ask the children to look for ways in which they can be like St Andrew today, and help to bring people together.

Dear God,
Thank you for the example of St Andrew.
Thank you for the way in which he pulled people together.
Please help us to follow his example.
Please help us to build bridges between others.
Please help us to be inclusive and kind.

Publication date: November 2022   (Vol.24 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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