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John Guest is an ordained minister with twenty-five years experience in parish ministry and working in local primary and secondary schools. A professional clown, he loves telling stories (particularly to children) and spends much of his time in the ten schools around his parish. John enjoys cooking, travel, languages and creative writing and occasionally admits to playing the piano accordion. He is Rector of St Margaret's Parish Church, Stanford-le-Hope, in Essex.
From: RE News - Autumn 2005 This is a useful collection of 33 assemblies with a Christian focus written for key satge1 and key stage 2 pupils. Each assembly is clearly structured through a story or play, biblical link, suggested visual aids and songs, a prayer, and follow up suggestions. Permission to photocopy the stories and other relevant sections is included as well as 11 pages which can be used on an overhead projector. The assemblies are divided into three categories: key stage 1, key stage 2, and those which are appropriate for both key stages. Many relevant themes are introduced relating to values, the Christian year, and citizenship. From: REACH Autumn 2005 John guest has a passion for his ministry with local schools, so the sub-title, '33 tried and tested story based assemblies' is the fruit of 22 years of experience in parish ministry as well as clowning as Gof the clown. Meet the Tool Shed Gang, the two Johns - East End lads in shades - and a crowd of other characters. Explore themes onnected with children's daily lives, their relationship with God and issues affecting them. Bravely and effectively, (for many teachers duck it) explore the resurrection in three stories entitled 'The man who wasn't there'. John's story telling style is immediate and attractive. Each session includes a biblical link, visual aid, prayers and songs, and ideas for follow-up. The book starts with a chapter of advice for beginners: nervous clergy and leaders will find a treasure trove of sensible suggestions and hints. This would be an excellent resource for family services and children's clubs as well as schools. There is only one question: 'John, why didn't you write this years ago?' From: The Methodist Recorder - 13/10/2005 Just in time to be used in the first term of the new school year, Collective Worship Unwrapped contains '33 tried and tested story-based assemblies for primary schools', described as 'Ideal for Key Stages 1 and 2'. Written by John Guest, an ordained minister and professional clown with 25 years' experience in parish ministry and story-telling in the 10 primary and secondary schools around his parish in Essex, the photocopiable material contains words and music of the song 'God loves all of his children'. There are varied means of conveying the messages: character and costume, questions and answers or visual aids and conjuring to choose from for the story of the road to Emmaus: 'The man who wasn't there', for example; two 'confident and imaginative actors dressed in dinner jackets and shades' for 'The Two Johns: An offer you can't refuse' in Advent - and much, much more of similarly imaginative material. Overhead visuals are supplied and there are two comprehensive indexes of themes and Bible links. A wise investment! Reviewed by Margaret Daniels From Diocese of Gloucester Summer reading suggestions Summer 2005 Before you skip this because you don't lead school assemblies, STOP! A lot of the pieces here would be brilliant for all-age worship or - especially - that Sunday afternoon slot some of our parishes are experimenting with. Author John Guest is Rector of a parish in Essex and has 25 years experience of visiting schools. More important, he has a great sense of humour! Each talk has a Bible passage, suggestions for songs and - what makes this very useable for an all-age situation- a Follow-Up box with discussion ideas. If you have read one of the two books above and want some material that's a sure-fire winner, try this. (Of course, you could also use it for assemblies!)