Approximately 150 Children together with their teachers and classroom assistants from Crook, St Cuthbert’s RC and Peases West Primary Schools, attended this year’s Christmas Journey in St Andrew’s Dawson Street Church, Crook. The Journey project was led by Phil Mason, a children’s and young people’s development worker in the West Durham Methodist Circuit.
The Christmas Journey Project provides an exciting opportunity to perform a delightful, easy-to-do presentation of the Christmas story to local primary schools. Aimed at Year 2 children, the material gives pupils and teachers alike an enjoyable learning experience by unfolding the Christmas story through creative storytelling, music, simple drama, fun-filled puppetry and thought-provoking artefacts.
The journey commences by telling the children the story of Creation using Godly Play resources. The children then moved through 5 decorated Gazebos erected in the church hall each Gazebo depicting part of the Christmas journey – Mary’s kitchen, a hillside near Bethlehem, the stable, the wise men’s palace, and a modern- day sitting room where again, using Godly Play, the children were told of the reasons why Jesus came amongst us on that very first Christmas. The children met Mary, a shepherd and a wise man in their gazebo designed settings, (characters were played by members of St Andrew’s Dawson Street Church), stable puppets, cows, sheep and donkeys were also animated by church members.
After the journey juice and biscuits were served to the children who later, helped by teachers and church members, made a variety of crafts to take home.
The children together with their teachers were enthusiastic and excited by what they saw and learnt from the Christmas Journey. It made their time at church an enjoyable and positive experience.
For those looking into possible new ideas for next year I can recommend the book that accompanies the project – The Christmas Journey by Moira Curry and Gill Morgan, ISBN 9781841016214, published 2009 by BRF, the Bible Reading Fellowship at £7.99.