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Old and new

Explores the value of making new friends and of looking after your old friends too.

by The Revd Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


Explores the value of making new friends and of looking after your old friends too.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a pair of old shoes and a pair of new shoes.


  1. Has anyone got anything new with them today? Discuss examples. Have they got anything old? Again discuss these. Which are better – old things or new things?
  2. Point out that old can be good: we love things we've had a long time. Ask the children if their parents have anything old which is precious or valuable? For example, old photographs or things that their parents or elderly relatives had? Some things get handed down from one generation to the next, from grandparents to parents to children to grandchildren. Ask what things like that are called – heirlooms.
  3. Show the two pairs of shoes. Explain that one pair is old, battered and scruffy but very comfortable. The other pair is shiny and new but a bit stiff and uncomfortable. Take a vote to see who prefers new and smart and who prefers old and comfy. Explain that the old pair are wearing out and won't last for ever. Soon they'll have to go! You’ll miss them but maybe by then these new ones will have become softer and more comfortable.
  4. Move on with this idea to talk about friends. Which is better – old or new? Point out that every old friend was once a new friend. We have to keep on making new friends if we also want to have old ones. Maybe there are new people in your class, or maybe you're new to the school, or maybe there are just people you've never spoken to before. Talk to someone new today. And one day you might just realize that, before long, they have become an old friend.

Time for reflection


Every old friend was once a new friend.

My old friends mean a lot to me.

I want to stay friends with them and be a good friend to them.

Every old friend was once a new friend.

I want to make new friends too.

Because without new friends, there can never be old friends.



Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of friendship,

and for all my friends – those I know and those I have yet to get to know.



‘Friends’ (Come and Praise Beginning, 19)

Publication date: January 2008   (Vol.10 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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