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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 The Association of Christian Teachers - March 2010 This is a collection of twenty tried and tested ideas to use in collective worship. Don't miss the preface which should encourage anyone who steps out on the journey to leading worship in schools. I also really liked the resources section with its useful websites and books. Don't skip the introduction which gives suggestions for getting the most out of collective worship in preparation, gathering resources, using all the senses, and the art of storytelling with a useful checklist thrown in. Everyday items from the home or garden shed are used to illustrate Bible stories. The Bible link is given as well as a prayer and suggested songs, with helpful hints and follow up ideas. For example, in ideas for KS1, Mrs Bitsey and the little girl is the story of Jairus' daughter. The story of The Three Trees is a classic re-telling of a story which is appropriate for both KS1 and 2. It is good to use at anytime of year, but especially when there is a focus on Jesus' birth, teaching, death and resurrection. It also fits in with a theme of Hopes and Dreams. For KS2, drama scripts are used to pave the way for a two minute epilogue based on themes such as forgiveness. If you liked Collective Worship Unwrapped, you will like this second volume. Reviewed by Lizzie McWhirter, RE Adviser for Coventry Diocese From The Church Times - June 2010 There is certainly no shortage of assembly material, and no end to the imagination of those who produce it. In John Guest's More Collective Worship Unwrapped, the author retells the story of the Prodigal Son, hiding types of chocolate in the narrative. There is a great deal of Dairy Milking, coming to a Crunchie, and the pigs, as you might expect, have Curly Wurly tails. The kids will be riveted - and positively ecstatic - if you turn up with actual examples. Reviewed by Dennis Richards From The Good Bookstall - July 2010 Anyone who has had to stand up in front of row upon row of children in a school assembly will know how important it is to grab their attention straight away and sustain their interest throughout, for the alternative is a very public struggle! John Guest offers practical guidance at the beginning of this book to help get it right. He discusses the importance of evoking the senses, the art of storytelling and the elements of a good assembly offering wise insights from his experience and knowledge of schools. The book includes music for related songs and photocopiable images to assist the storytelling; the assemblies are sectioned into the two key stages whilst including some suitable for the whole school as well. The characters from the Toolshed Gang and the Two Johns offer some continuity between the different assemblies as the children become familiar with them. As a resource this book is easily accessible, it clearly identifies the main theme, related bible links and songs, a story text and additional resources needed. Particularly helpful is the 'follow-up' box that acknowledges the issues and emotions some themes begin to unlock and suggests relevant activities that could be used within the smaller setting of the classroom. The fun and energy that this book exudes will inspire, motivate and help build up the confidence of anyone facing a hall full of children! Reviewed by Sian Hancock