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Leave It Better Than You Found It!

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools


To consider the importance of looking after the world.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available your selection from the following images and the means to display them during the assembly. Please note that these are examples; other similarly themed images are also suitable:

    - a beautiful scene from nature, available at:
    - technological development, available at:
    - need and deprivation, available at:
    - industrial wasteland, available at:
    - the effects of pollution, available at

  • You will also need six cards, each of which should display one word from the following sentence: ‘All have a part to play’.

  • You will need a reader for either Psalm 104 or God's grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The latter is available at:


  1. Point out that we live on a wonderfully exciting planet that we have done nothing to create. During our lifetime, we will enjoy it and use its resources. There will be times when we find that the world is unfriendly to us, when disease, deprivation or physical or emotional hurt come our way, or the way of others who share the world with us.

  2. Ask the reader to read Psalm 104 or ‘God's grandeur’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

  3. Show the image of a beautiful scene from nature.
    Express something of the wonder of the world in which we live.

  4. Show the image of technological development.
    Describe some of the amazing advances there have been in the world.

  5. Point out that today, a greater proportion of the world's population is healthier, better fed, better educated, more aware of others and their needs and more compassionate than has been the case in the past. This has largely been brought about by improved communications and technological developments.

  6. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are better than previous generations. We are simply more fortunate. Being more fortunate also gives us greater responsibility. We cannot be complacent; there is still so much to be done, as any news broadcast or newspaper will show.

  7. Show the final three images.
    Point out that, despite the advances that we have made, there is still a long way to go. Many places are in great need; too much of the world is being damaged by wars and pollution.

  8. Christians believe that they have a duty to care for the world God has made – we all have our role to play. Through history, men and women have taken this role very seriously. Every achievement of the human race for good - in art, music, culture, science, technology, medicine, politics and many more areas - can be seen as a development of God's first act of creation. He has given us a rich resource: this planet and its people.

  9. We inhabit this planet for a comparatively short time. During that time, we are privileged to enjoy the world, but we also have a duty and responsibility to improve it for others, both now and in the future.

Time for reflection

Each one of us can make a difference to the world. This may mean helping to remove a current problem, or developing and expanding something that is already good. This could be something quite small, such as a concern for the environment, recycling of used materials, not causing litter or pollution, or blowing the whistle on vandals and vandalism. Alternatively, it could be a larger concern, such as joining Amnesty International to work for the release of political prisoners and for the implementation of human rights.

Quote some local examples.

Ask six volunteers to come forward to hold up the cards that say All have a part to play.

No matter how small and insignificant we might feel, ‘we all have a part to play!’

Dear God,
We are grateful for the world that you have given us, and for the skill and inspiration of those men and women who have developed it.
May we always be on the lookout for ways to make it even better, so that all may enjoy it to the full.

Publication date: December 2020   (Vol.22 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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