More than 200 people attended the Anniversary and Thanksgiving service at Wells Cathedral to mark 20 years of Open the Book. At the service the Right Reverend Peter Handcock Bishop of Bath and Wells, commissioned Open the Book Storytellers in their important ministry.
Open the Book (OtB) is a project which offers primary school children an opportunity to hear key Bible stories from a team of Christians from local churches who present the stories during assemblies and acts of Collective Worship.
Throughout the Diocese of Bath and Wells we have a numerous teams of volunteers who offer Open the Book to their local primary schools. Some teams are from single church denominations, but many are ecumenical teams of local Christians who visit schools on a weekly basis. Across the Diocese many garages are full of OtB props and costumes as our wonderful teams use these to bring the Bible stories to life.
Bob Hartman, internationally acclaimed storyteller and author of the Lion Storyteller Bible, from which the Open the Book scripts come, spoke at the Cathedral service, a local storyteller shared their experience of being part of OtB Team, and Andy Levett (Go Team Adviser, Taunton Archdeaconry) talked about the impact Open the Book has in schools and churches.
Peter (OtB team member) and Angela Leroy (Voluntary Area Trainer and leader of 2 teams), were the key organisers of this special celebration service, “We were delighted that so many people were able to attend an inspiring, worshipful service celebrating 20 years of the work of Open the Book. Bob Hartman kept us involved with a lively storytelling and encouraged us to continue with our passion for sharing Bible stories with children. The Story of Open the Book, told the story of God’s gracious work, which has enabled the remarkable growth nationwide over 20 years – with 3,100 schools now involved and 17,000 storytellers.”
Cheryl Govier (Go Team Adviser, Wells Archdeaconry) says, “Having led OtB teams in the past, I’ve seen first-hand the impact on children and staff in schools. The excitement of children entering the hall for their OtB Collective Worship was always tangible. To share in this celebration, recognising the many amazing people who give freely of their time every week to live and tell the story of Jesus through OtB was incredibly special.”