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Mending friendships

To appreciate how friendship can be mended.

by The Revd Alan Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To appreciate how friendship can be mended.

Preparation and materials

  • A safety helmet.
  • A clip-board for job sheets.
  • A tool box, with an assortment of tools, including a trowel, length of rope, U-bend, spanner, tape measure.
  • OHP or large sheets of paper to display the key words in 5 below.
  • Bob the Builder music.
  • Prepare three children to perform the short sketch featuring Joe, Jenny and their mother. Small groups could also present the tools and materials needed for the imaginary repair jobs.


  1. Explain that you've decided not to be a teacher/minister today. You've decided that you'd like to spend your time being someone else. Put on your safety helmet and ask the children if they know what job you're going to do. Play the Bob the Builder music and establish the fact that you are going to be a builder. You could give yourself a name - e.g. 'Jones (or whoever) the Builder'!

  2. Introduce the idea that different tools and materials are needed to fix different things. Challenge the children to think what will be needed for some of the repairs on Jones the Builder's job sheets: e.g. The wind has blown a tile from the top ridge of Mrs Taylor's bungalow. You'll need a ladder, a replacement tile, mortar, a bucket, rope, trowel. Devise other examples as necessary.

  3. Introduce Joe and Jenny. Say that Joe and Jenny were playing football in the garden. Although Mum had said, 'Don't play close to the house with that heavy ball', they didn't listen. Joe was in goal and Jenny kicked the ball so hard that it flew past him into a window. The glass broke. Ask what you will need for the repair: a new sheet of glass, thick gloves, a hammer, putty, etc.

  4. But there's more to be mended - not a roof or a window, but a friendship. Invite the children to perform the sketch.

    : I told you not to play next to the house.

    Jenny (pointing at Joe): It was his fault.

    Joe (pointing at Jenny): It was her fault.

    Jenny: You should have saved it.

    Joe: You shouldn't have kicked it so hard.

    Mum: Right, indoors both of you - and go to your rooms until you can behave.

    So Joe is crying and Jenny is very angry, and Mum says that now they probably won't go to McDonald's. Can Jones the Builder fix that?
  1. To puzzle out how, use the first letters in the names of some tools and materials to form a word that is important in mending friendship. The initial letters of Trowel, Rope, U-bend (demonstrate the shape), Spanner, and Tape measure spell TRUST. (Children can hold up cards to display the letters.)

    Unfolding the cards to display the words, or using an OHP, show that TRUST can involve:

    Thinking about what has gone wrong - what had gone wrong?

    Respecting other people - how do they feel?

    Understanding other people's points of view - was Mum right to be annoyed?

    Saying sorry - so that others know we want to mend a friendship.

    Talking together - helps to keep friends together.

Time for reflection

Lord God,
Sometimes things go wrong and we feel sad and unhappy.
Thank you for people who can help get them fixed.
When we are unhappy because friendships are broken,
help us to remember the need for trust,
in mending differences and in making new starts.


'If I had a hammer' (Come and Praise, 71)
'Make me a channel of your peace' (Come and Praise, 147)

Publication date: July 2001   (Vol.3 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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