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Who Is Looking?

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools


 To consider that people may look up to us and follow our example.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available some images of famous people and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples could include:

    - the Queen, available at:
    - Theresa May, available at:
    - Simon Cowell, available at:
    - Mother Teresa, available at:

  • Optional: you may wish to use an extract from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom in the ‘Assembly, Step 2. Start at the third paragraph of Chapter 11, I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth . . .’, and continue to ‘. . . instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.

  • Optional: you may wish to use the Bible reading found in Genesis 1.27.


  1. Show the images of famous people.

    Ask the students to identify the people in the images. Point out that all of them are looked up to or admired by other people in some way. They are presented as successful people, people who have made it in life. But what made them famous or special?

  2. There are various possibilities.

    - They were born into a position and they took on that role willingly.
    - They responded to certain circumstances at certain times, using the skills that they possessed.
    - They saw a possibility and chose to do something about it.
    - They were willing to take a risk.

    Optional: read the extract from Nelson Mandelas autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

    Explain that sometimes, people feel that a way opens up for them in life and they feel that they have to take that particular path.

  3. Ask the students, Is anyone watching you?

    Point out that, as we may look at other people, others may be watching us and following our example. We may be role models for younger brothers and sisters, our peer group and so on. If this is the case, we need to consider what kind of role model we are offering. We need to remember that people tend to copy the bad traits as well as the good traits of their heroes.

  4. Christians believe that people were made in God’s image. In Genesis 1.27, we read ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ The Ancient Greek word for this is ‘icon’. An icon is something (or someone) that acts as a gateway into another area of experience, a place where we may see another, a window into something else. What matters is not the window, but what it allows us to see.

    Christians believe that we are icons of God to each other. We are, or should be, people who allow others to see the nature of God in our lives.

  5. Christians believe that Jesus was the perfect example of how we should live our lives. The German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, made the point that we shouldn’t just imitate the life of Jesus, because he lived in a different time and place from us. Instead, Bonhoeffer suggested that we should allow Jesus to live his life through us. We should show love, compassion, peace and understanding to those around us.

Time for reflection

Ask the following questions, pausing to allow time for thought after each one.

Are we good role models?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Are there people who look up to us and will follow our example?

Pause to allow time for thought.

How can we make sure that we set a good example?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Help us to be good examples to those around us.
Help us to be responsible and helpful.
Help us to be kind and caring.
May we lead others into good things.
May we contribute to making the world a better place.

Publication date: August 2017   (Vol.19 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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