Candle Five – Emmanuel

I struggle to tell the Christmas story. I struggle to put my finger on the point of the whole thing. It’s because it’s so deceptively easy to tell, made for children: all those shepherds and angels and donkeys and grumpy camels. But why? Why is this story, this baby, so important? Tha
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Candle Four: Mary

What’s your favourite story? Is it one that you’ve known since childhood, or one that you heard or read recently? I wonder – and even asking this may make me sound a little insane if you don’t, in fact, know what I’m talking about – have you ever imagined yourself inside t
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Candle Three: John the Baptist

The first two candles on the Advent wreath are for groups of people who prepared for the coming of the Messiah many years before Jesus was born. The next two are more specific, for two important characters who were right there on the scene preparing when Jesus arrived. The first of th
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Candle Two – the prophets

In storytelling to schools, it’s been difficult to come up with a straightforward definition of ‘prophet’, one that will work as a speedy introduction to a story about any of the prophets. Their lives, purposes and prophecies are all so very different, so what do they all have in comm
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Candle One – the beginning of God’s people

On Sunday 30th November, we lit the first candle on our Advent wreath, the one which stands for a group of people somewhat soberly referred to as the Patriarchs. They’re the ones that appear in the book of Genesis, which contains stories of beginnings: not just the beginning of the wo
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Tales from the Jesse Tree – a Christmas countdown

Our family has a plethora of Advent traditions. Advent calendars, kindly given over the years by friends and relations, proliferate: one with pockets, some with doors, even one with a revolving nativity scene on top, into which a new tiny figure is added every day. They are displayed
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Resources for storytelling: thaumatrope (or, magic twizzle stick!)

For the last blog post in this series before schools start again, here’s a craft that used to keep Victorian children amused in their long summer holidays! A thaumatrope is an optical illusion which makes two separate pictures appear together as one. They are very simple to make and r
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Resources for storytelling: wine and water wedding card

Some of the best story crafts are the kinds of thing you might find in a pop-up or lift-the-flaps book: simple paper crafts with a bit of movement and a surprise. Children can then use the device to retell the story. In the past my Sunday Club and I have made a Zaccheus who hops down
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Resources for storytelling: Fingerprint caterpillar and photo scrapbook

Not everything in the Bible is narrative, but children can still engage with the parts that aren’t stories. Here are a couple of activities centred around the first five verses of Psalm 139 which are a wonderful way for your children to celebrate their unique relationship with G
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Resources for storytelling: sock sheep

Sheep are pretty much everywhere in the Bible, aren’t they? Ubiquitous witnesses of maaaaah-vellous things (sorry!) They’re matchmakers for Jacob and Rachel, they start King David off on his journey to royalty, they photobomb the Psalms, they’re first on the scene at the nativit
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