Welcome to Open the Book

…..in Shipley


“I will speak using stories”

Ps 78, v 2



About the project….


Open the Book started as a Bedford Churches Together initiative for schools in the Millennium year.   Its success far exceeded expectation and fifteen years on it continues to work in over 35 primary schools in the Bedford area and has spread far and wide across the country, with a national organisation.   It is designed for children of primary age and aims initially to tell the story of the Bible in 30 sessions, beginning in Genesis and ending with the Ascension and the establishment of the early Church.   It is designed for use in assembly/collective worship and is led by trained volunteer storytellers from local churches.



About the Shipley Team ….


Open the Book in Shipley is a joint initiative of Shipley Christians Together and the Zephaniah Trust.  We are committed to working together in order to give children and young people the opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith.   Four schools in the Shipley area are currently involved.


The steering group members are:

Julie Wilkinson, storytelling lead, Zephaniah Trust

Helen Longman, props lead, St Margaret’s Church, Frizinghall



About the stories….


The stories are mainly taken from The Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman.  Bob is the author of numerous books and one of the country’s most talented storytellers, writers and trainers.



About the props and visual aids….


Each story is supported by a special set of props and visual aids which is made available to all participating teams.  Our props team have put their talents in painting, needlework, carpentry, drawing, plus great imaginations and skills in foraging through charity shops to great use to make these unique resources.



About the storytellers….


All our storytellers are trained in storytelling technique, school protocol, use of props and visual aids and child protection.  They are also asked to undertake to keep a set of guidelines underlying the structure and simplicity of the project.  Schools are asked to ensure that there is always at least one member

of staff present at the assembly.


About the costs involved….


No charge is made to participating schools.

 At any stage, steering group members are more than willing to discuss details of the scheme with church groups, clergy, PCC’s, interested volunteers, school governors and head teachers.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Open the Book, Shipley Steering Group

Helen Longman

Tel: 01274 829249



Julie Wilkinson (Zephaniah Trust)

Tel: 01274 533732

E: office@zephaniah.org.uk






Schools’ Information Leaflet

(Shipley Group)




Shipley Chris†ians Together and Zephaniah Trust