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Primary School Assemblies for Religious Festivals
by Ronni Lamont (Ed)
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Anyone who regularly rises to the challenge of putting together an assembly or act of collective worship knows how important 'off the shelf' resources are. We all benefit from being able to draw on the wisdom and experience of others. In this wonderful collection of primary school assemblies we have plenty of both.
Drawing on the expertise of a dozen authors, Ronni Lamont has compiled an imaginative collection of assembly material that celebrates a wide variety of religious festivals from nine of the world's major religions. Each assembly is presented in a similar format with a clear aim, guidance on preparation and materials, content for the assembly itself, resources for a few moments of reflection and a song. Although these are assemblies and not acts of collective worship, they do lean towards the latter. Each includes a prayer that would not be out of place if used in church and a song, all of which, I think, are Christian in origin.
There are some wonderful touches in these assemblies - such as the lighting of candles to illustrate that sharing light (or love or happiness) can never reduce the light of the giver. And the emphasis on storytelling is brilliant – after all, stories provide the foundations for all our faiths. Whilst I might reduce the information content of some of these assemblies, I can also see how to apply them quite readily to a secondary school environment. It also might be more helpful to organise the contents by date or time of year, rather than by faith. 'What can I do today?' being the common refrain of assembly leaders!
An excellent collection that should be available in every staff room.
(The editor also edits The Assemblies Website [see link] for those whose appetites are inexhaustible!.)
Reviewer: David Ford (29/11/12)