christianassemblies-9397152Following the success of the bestselling title Christian Assemblies, Christian Assemblies II has been written to provide you with easy-to-use resources that you can pick off the shelf and deliver to the whole school or to smaller groups with the minimum of preparation.

Written by eight religious education advisers, one head teacher and a primary school worship coordinator, all from different dioceses, Christian Assemblies II is the perfect resource for both experienced assembly leaders and inexperienced teachers without a Church background. The assemblies have been written both for pupils who are familiar with the Christian religion and those who aren’t and come ready for you to deliver to your: •    Whole-school •    Key Stage 1 •    Key Stage 2 •    Classroom Easy to use – pick an appropriate assembly off the shelf for any part of the year The assemblies are organised into 10 sections, each focusing on a particular event in the Christian calendar, for example:

  • Saint Matthew (September)
  • Harvest (October)
  • Advent (November/December)
  • Christmas (December)
  • Epiphany (January)
  • Lent (February – April)
  • Holy Week (March – April)
  • May Day (May)
  • Pentecost (May – June)
  • Trinity (June – July)

Whole-school or key stage focused assemblies Each section contains four assemblies. They can be used with large or small groups of pupils in order to deliver:

  • Whole-school acts of worship
  • Key Stage 1 focused assemblies
  • Key Stage 2 focused assemblies
  • Classroom focused development of the themes covered in the assemblies

Each assembly is clearly labelled so that you can easily identify the assembly that you need. Suitable for all pupils The assemblies do not assume anything about the beliefs of the pupils, many of whom may not be from practising Church families. They can therefore also be used in non-Church settings. There is material in all these acts of worship that pupils can use for their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, whatever their background may be. No need for an experienced assembly leader These ready-made acts of worship are particularly helpful to build up the experience and confidence of all worship leaders. Each set is introduced with information about the theme, bearing in mind that not all teachers have a Church background. Christian themes drawn from the Church year Church schools in particular will benefit from the fact that these acts of worship use Christian themes drawn from the Church year. There are also Bible readings and Christian prayers in each act of worship. The Lord’s Prayer is used at least once in each set, and other prayers are used frequently, such as the Grace and Blessings. They also make use of symbolism and ritual, such as the lighting of a candle for worship and the repetition of opening greetings and responses. For schools whose parish church does not place much emphasis on symbolism and ritual, these elements could easily be omitted without losing the main point of the worship. An overview of some of the assemblies included in Christian Assemblies II Examples of whole-school assemblies Section 1: Saint Matthew – St Matthew ‘made better’ by Jesus This act of worship tells the story of how Jesus called Matthew, who was a tax collector, to be one of his disciples. It encourages pupils to reflect on how they can make a situation ‘better’ in the context of their own everyday lives. Section 5: Epiphany – The Journey of the Wise Men We follow the Wise Men from their homes to Herod’s palace in Jerusalem. Pupils discover that there were prophecies about the birth of the Saviour in Bethlehem hundreds of years before Jesus. Examples of Key stage 1 assemblies Section 2: Harvest – The mustard seed The pupils consider how God works through growing small things into large and how we can do the same in our lives. Section 6: Lent – Putting up a barrier This assembly for younger pupils follows a whole-school assembly on Ash Wednesday. It explores some of the things Christians believe get in the way of their relationship with God and what they can do to restore that relationship. Engage your students in collective worship All of these acts of worship are written to hold pupils’ attention and encourage some level of participation. There are parts for individual readers and a few assemblies involve simple role-play, and therefore require some time to rehearse. For convenience, a list of resources is given at the top of each act of worship or at the beginning of the set and, unless otherwise stated, all Bible readings are taken from the Good News Bible.  Other acknowledgments are given with each theme or act of worship. Examples of Key stage 2 assemblies Section 3: Advent – St Lucia The story of St Lucia is celebrated in Sweden on 13th December. We tell the story of her crown of light and think how we can bring light to others. This act of worship is for older pupils. Section 7: Holy Week – Good Friday: the death of Jesus This act of worship, for older pupils, tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Examples of classroom assemblies Section 4: Christmas – Christmas tree This assembly explores the meanings behind the Christmas tree and its traditional decorations, linked to the Bible. Section 8: May Day – Mary and Joseph These suggested activities to develop with classes are based either on some of the ideas raised in the rest of the section or on stories and places relating to Mary or Joseph. All these activities could be easily incorporated into an act of worship in the primary school.