A service celebrating ten years of Open the Book in the Diocese of Truro, has taken place at St Petrocs Church, Bodmin.There are now 95 teams across the diocese, which covers the whole of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and two parishes in Devon, and pupils at over 125 schools are benefiting from the initiative.

Organiser and Diocesan Discipleship Officer Shelley Porter welcomed those present to the church before Bishop Chris went on to affirm and commission Open the Book team members.

There were also Open the Book performances including one in which Bishop Chris played Jesus for the story of The Man Who Came Back. In that performance, Week St Mary’s Lesley Booker was seen joyously skipping down the aisle having been ‘cured of leprosy’ but forgetting to thank Jesus.

Another performance by the Open the Book team from Par used creative props and themed costumes to present the story ‘Jesus’s Special Friends’.

Following the service those present were able to enjoy a special Open the Book celebration cake made by the diocese’s Youth Project Officer Sarah Welply.

Open the Book originally started in 1999 with a group of Christians presenting Bible stories in school assemblies. Open the Book teams are led by groups of volunteers from local churches who take primary school assemblies with themed and dramatized Bible stories.

It was in 2005 that Revd David Stevens and his wife Margaret started the first Open the Book team in Cornwall at Constantine school, this was then closely followed by St Minver School in 2006.

Speaking at a diocesan roadshow this week which has also been featuring Open the Book performances, Bishop Chris said: “I quite often hear people saying ‘isn’t it terrible that children are not taught the Bible in school anymore?’ Well in our diocese that is not true. Because in Cornwall we have Open the Book. I’d now like to make this challenge: Could we commit ourselves to taking Open the Book into every Cornish school?”

Shelley Porter added: “I would like to thank everyone who has taken the Open the Book vision and works hard to tell Bible stories in assemblies every week in their local schools. It was fantastic to see everyone who attended on Saturday afternoon from our very earliest teams that started ten years ago to those teams just starting out.”

For further information about Open the Book go to www.openthebook.net