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An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider whether the way people appear on the outside gives a true indication as to who they really are.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available a range of plastic bags, some with distinctive labels. If bags are not available, you could use the following images, in which case you will also need the means to display them during the assembly:

    - a plastic bag from Asda, available at:
    - a plastic bag from Sainsburys, available at:
    - plastic bags from Morrisons and Tesco, available at:
    - plastic bags from Lidl and Aldi, available at:

  • You will also need a range of items that have distinctive labels and logos, such as clothes, trainers, sunglasses, sports kit and audio equipment.

  • Optional: you may wish to use the following images in the ‘Assembly, Step 3, in which case you will also need the means to display them:

    - Dan Walker, available at:
    - Theresa May, available at:
    - Cliff Richard, available at:


  1. Show the plastic bags, or the images of them.

    You may wish to ask for a show of hands as to where the students shop.

    Show the items that have distinctive labels and logos.

  2. Point out that all of us carry a kind of label in our lives. All of us have a reputation, which could be good or bad. However, reputations tell us only part of the story about each other.

    Give some examples of people in school who may be well-known for a particular interest or activity, but who also have another side to their life. For example, they may have an interest or responsibility that they dont often talk about, but which they wont mind being known on this occasion.

  3. For people who are Christians, the idea of a reputation can sometimes be a dilemma. The media can sometimes display Christians as unusual or strange people who behave in a particular way in society. However, in reality, Christians are ordinary people who want to follow God and live a good life that involves caring for other people.

    Christians often face a dilemma as to how much they should speak about and share their beliefs with people at home, work, school and so on. If people are too upfront about what they believe, it can be off-putting and others can feel uncomfortable. However, being too quiet about their faith can make it appear that they are apologetic or embarrassed.

    Optional: you may wish to show or name some Christians who are well-known in the media, such as Dan Walker, Theresa May and Cliff Richard.

  4. All of us have a reputation of some sort. In the same way, we all have different values by which we live our lives. If we depart from our values, people can be quick to point this out. However, the important thing is to be true to our values and beliefs, even if other people don’t fully understand or agree with them.

  5. Sometimes, people don’t speak openly about their beliefs, but we are aware of their values because of the way in which they live their lives. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. However, we all need to be careful that we don’t simply look at a person on the outside and assume that we know what their beliefs and values are.

Time for reflection

Are there people in our classes whom we know so little about that we have labelled them because of their appearance or maybe even something that someone else has said about them?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Do we live in a way that expresses the values that we hold as important in our lives?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Let us learn to be a
 star in the dark night,
Water for those in the desert,
A signpost when the way is rough and confusing,
A lighthouse for those in rough seas
And a rock when all around is unstable.

Publication date: June 2018   (Vol.20 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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