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No One Is an Island

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools


To consider how things are connected on Earth, and understand our relationship with our planet.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to collect some rubbish and create a pile of it - the bigger the better!
  • You will need readers for 1 Corinthians 12.14-26 and up to four readers for the prayer.


  1. As the students enter the room, appear to be concerned about the pile of rubbish on the floor. When they are settled, say loudly:

    What a lot of rubbish!

  2. Pick up a piece of the rubbish. Point out that, although the object is rubbish, if we look more closely, there is a story behind it.
    Ask the following questions.

    What went into making the object?
    What is it made up of?

  3. Pick up a different piece of rubbish and ask the following questions as you examine it, pausing after each question to give the students time to consider the answer.

    What raw materials were used to make it?
    How was it manufactured?
    Who was responsible for its manufacture?
    How many people have been involved in producing it?

    In fact, many people will have been involved in the production of the rubbish. Some will have created it from raw materials; some will have bought the object and used it; and someone will have put it in the bin.

  4. Pick up another piece of rubbish and ask the following questions, pausing after each question to give the students time to consider the answer.

    What will happen to the rubbish now?
    Who will collect it?
    Where will the rubbish go?
    What will happen to it then?
    What will the rubbish become?

  5. Pick up another piece of rubbish and make the following statement.

    So this is not simply a . . . (insert the name of the object you are holding) . . . It is time, it is people, it is energy, it is part of the planet on which we live and will continue to be a part of it, whether in a negative or positive way.

    We cannot simply separate one thing from another. On Earth, things are connected together. Everything affects everything else!

  6. In the Bible, Paul speaks about how connected we are in his first letter to the people in Corinth. Ask the students to listen to the passage, but to expand the image of the ‘body’ from that of an individual to the group of people in school, and then further to the country in which we live, and then on to the whole world. Read 1 Corinthians 12.14-26.

Time for reflection

Ask the students to focus on the pile of rubbish as the following prayer is read.

Dear God,
Thank you for the beauty of your creation.
Thank you for the variety and creativity in all that we see.
Please help us to treasure the world and everything in it.
We are sorry for the pollution that spoils the world.
Please help us to take any action possible to prevent the world from further damage and to protect all living things.


Publication date: March 2023   (Vol.25 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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