Book Reviews

All Resource Easter Book






By Gemma Willis ISBN: 9781785065606

Price: £11.99

What is it?

Gemma Willis has over 12 years of experience in working with children and young people. She is passionate about communicating the gospel in relevant, exciting and engaging ways. She has a particular interest in the way in which contemporary culture affects how children and young people engage with faith. The All Resource Easter Book is a fresh, new, jam-packed resource full of creative ideas for celebrating Easter in an All-Age context. Including craft, dramas, monologues, all age talks, games, teaching outlines and more. All Resource Easter is designed to equip those in churches and schools to deliver exciting and contemporary activities on an Easter theme.

Is it any good?

Highly recommended.

How do I get hold of it?

From Scripture Union here

It's Your Move

Scripture Union Publishing; 3rd edition edition (19 Jan 2015)
ISBN-10: 1844278883
ISBN-13: 978-1844278886

What is it?

Absolutely brilliant book to give to Year 6 children as they leave to go to high school. Offers a wonderful opportunity to go into school to present the books, maybe do an assembly and teach a lesson. Additional resources here and here.

The children get to work through their worries and anxieties about moving up and learn that Jesus is going with them! Suitable though for church and non-church schools alike. Maybe ask people in church to sponsor a book for every Year 6 child in your local school?

Is it any good? 

Oh yes! It’s an amazing resource. Highly recommended.

How do I get hold of it?

£3.50 from Scripture Union here.

Churches Serving Schools

by David W Lankshear

Church House Publishing; 2nd Revised edition (20 Sept. 2002)
ISBN-10: 0715149938
ISBN-13: 978-0715149935

What is it?

While its description of the education system is out-of-date, this handbook for churches who wish to develop better relationships with their local schools and to support all who work in education is still very useful. A range of suggestions for building and developing good relations with local schools is included, along with examples of good practice. 'Churches Serving Schools' also includes photocopiable commissioning services for teachers and headteachers and prayers for schools and those who work in education.

Is it any good? 

The author has lots of experience in this field and it shows. His writing style is easy to read but the content is incredibly challenging. He offers a checklist for churches who want to serve their local schools, asking for a realistic commitment to a vital ministry. He also offers a number of models  that are adopted in schools’ ministry which I found helpful in discerning how the school might view the church. His catchphrase is, “No one can do everything.” I found it very encouraging and inspiring although it is old and therefore out of date in terms of what’s happening in schools today. But the basics are all there and remain the same. “We know,” he writes, “that we are serving Christ in serving schools and the pupils themselves. What greater joy could there be than that?” Amen!

How do I get hold of it?

£8.95 from Church House Publishing
Or free from the lending library at Church House as soon as I put it back!

The Flying Pizza and other Primary School Assemblies

by Revd Alan M. Barker

ISBN: 9780281072385
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Publication date: 21 August 2013

What is it?
A collection of assemblies for Primary schools. 

Is it any good? 
This features 45 assemblies from the ever-popular and well-known Revd Alan M. Barker. His assemblies are downloaded thousands of times a year and he is the most searched for author on apparently. This volume is in an updated, easy-to-use format. Inside the content is clearly laid out with icons indicating each assembly’s aim, preparation and materials needed, step-by-step instructions for presenting the assembly, reflections, and a song or suggested piece of music. The content covers all major Christian festivals including assemblies for more difficult festivals to present to children such as Ascension Day.

How do I get hold of it?
£12.99 from SPCK

Children’s Spirituality : What it is and Why it Matters

by Rebecca Nye

Church House Publishing (1 Jan. 2009)
ISBN-10: 0715140272
ISBN-13: 978-0715140277

What is it?
A review from my colleague Libby Leech in Lichfield Diocese of a very worthwhile read.

At a time when schools are being asked to provide opportunities for a pupil to explore their spirituality, this book comes as an easy introduction to why and how was can begin to explore a child’s spirituality. 

Is it any good? 
With questions such as ‘What is Spirituality?’ and ‘Why does it matter to us and our churches?’ explored in the book there are also opportunities for personal reflection.  As well as theological reflection the book also offers practical ways in which we can begin to nurture and provide opportunities for children’s spirituality in our different settings.   This book would be great read as a small group with plenty of opportunities for discussion and thinking through what this can mean for our church groups, All Age Worship, Afterschool clubs and even our RE and Collective Worship sessions.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone involved with children but it comes with a warning… it will challenge, inspire, teach and leave you and your children’s ministry changed.

How do I get hold of it?

£9.99 from Church House Publishing

Churches and Dioceses Resourcing Community schools

by Derek Holbird
Grove Booklet eD 8
ISBN: 978 1 85174 800 6

Another one of those incredibly useful little booklets from the Grove people. This one looks at how Christians and networks of churches might best serve their local non-church schools. Any of you who know me will know that I have a passion for reaching community schools and academies and this booklet provides practical examples of how to do this.

Is it any good? 

Holbird believes that schools and colleges stand central to the nation’s well-being and points out how many links to their local schools the average church or group of churches will have – children, parents, teachers and governors may all be members of the congregation. The aim of his book is to encourage what is already being done but also to stimulate fresh thinking around the churches’ interaction with community schools. It’s for anybody who would like to do more with their local school and it’s really good. He encourages us all to, “do what we can, however small, and then see how God takes up our work for the blessing of others.” He bases his ideas on sound theology and a lot of personal experience and encourages an attitude of serving schools strategically. Lots of practical suggestions rounds off a really good read.

How do I get hold of it?

Only £3.95 from Grove at or borrow it from the Diocese resource library at Church House – that’s where I got it!

Easy to remember Bible songs

by The Rizers

What is it?

A bit of an unusual ‘book review’ this month! It’s actually a set of videos available freely on Youtube. Rev Graham Cousins recommended them to me and I think they’re tremendous. They’re basically short Bible passages set to pop music, probably most suitable for primary aged children. A fun and memorable way to ‘read’ the Bible!

Is it any good?

A great way to memorise Bible passages for all of us. Graham says that the children in school and church love them. Check out these examples and see what you think. Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust In The Lord) 1 John 4:7 (Let Us Love One Another)

Would be useful for assemblies, church services, even clubs. Catchy and well produced material.

How do I get hold of it?

They’re free on Youtube. Bargain!

Page last updated: Tuesday 21st March 2017 10:16 AM
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