DSC03486After a decade of telling stories to school pupils, Constantine Church’s Open the Book team are still as popular as ever with children clamouring to join in with the weekly sessions.

Open The Book is an initiative which sees teams from local churches go into primary schools to read and perform bible stories.

The team at Constantine were the first in the Diocese of Truro to adopt the programme. It has now grown to over 90 teams in 130 schools across the county and there are hopes that within five years every school will have a team.

A diocese-wide service to mark the tenth anniversary of Open the Book was held in St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin in early October and at Constantine the special date was celebrated with a school assembly and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.

Constantine’s team – come from the village and attend the church. Longest serving team member Kate Graves is now joined by church organist Melanie Uren, Rainbows and Brownie leader Ruth Nicholls, Anne and Derek Wood and Peter Tatham. Peter said: “I moved to Cornwall nine years ago and was asked to join the team by Margaret Stevens who set it up. I saw how the children reacted to Open the Book, thought it was great and I have been doing it ever since.”

Each assembly continues to be a real team effort with everyone contributing – Anne making the costumes, Ruth writing the scripts, Derek producing props, Kate hosting planning meetings & Peter co-ordinating the group.

Melanie said: “I got involved with the team through the church three years ago. I used to be a school music teacher and I have always loved working with children. I love to see them enjoying it and engaging with the assemblies and it’s a great way of bringing the church to the community.”

Derek and Anne Wood have been involved in the team for over five years and say they love every minute of it. Anne said: “We look forward to it each week. I’d never done anything like this before but I absolutely love it.”

Derek has also ensured that each child that takes part gets a gift. “We give them a booklet or pencil and they love having something to take away with them.”

The team’s success is obvious when they arrive in the assembly hall to a sea of hands all raised as children volunteer to join in with the story telling. Then their interest and attentiveness is clear as they watch & listen. The team say that not only do they get something out of Open the Book but it also helps the children to hear about the Bible, good life values & can help them feel more at home in church.

Members of team – Peter Tatham, Melanie Uren, Derek Wood, Anne Wood Kate Graves and Ruth Nicholls.