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Where in the World?

An RE and assembly resource on the worldwide Christian Church

Martyn Payne

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Content

Where in the World? is a global Christianity resource for primary school RE teachers. It provides lesson outlines, assembly material, a five-week scheme of work, background information and a section on learning objectives and outcomes. Content includes:

  • A journey story focusing on seven churches around the world
  • Background about the Christian faith in each of the countries visited
  • The growth of the worldwide Christian church
  • How Christians worship and major festivals
  • International Christians who have made a difference
  • Guidance on making safe and successful global connections
  • Prayers and songs from around the world
  • A list of world anniversaries for themed days
  • Links to further resources online
  • Web material to print at www.barnabasinschools.org.uk/extra-resources/

An overview of the book

The material in this book has been put together to help schools meet the expectations of locally agreed RE syllabi in relation to teaching Christianity as a worldwide faith. The SIAS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools) guidance document (2005), for example, puts as one of the aims of RE that:

Pupils should experience the breadth and variety of the Christian community

The potential scope of this handbook is vast. People have written volumes about the history of the growth of the Church during the last two millennia and there continue to be new and exciting stories of the contemporary Church from all parts of the globe. There are in addition many different strands of Christianity with huge variations in their approach to worship and liturgy. Theological interpretations still separate some denominations from each other and make shared communion difficult; and radically different interpretations of the Bible can cause heated controversy.

With so much that could be shared, there is always the danger of falling into superficiality and of presenting unfair stereotypes when opening windows into the worldwide Church. Every possible effort has been made to avoid this while recognising that teachers will at the same time not want to overburden lesson material with too many caveats and footnotes. The book is intended as a broad outline to draw on, which will enhance both the teacher's own knowledge as well as provide a wider canvas of perspective and interest for the topic that children will enjoy exploring.

There is a unifying and important story to share with children about the essentials of the Christian faith and how those are worked out in the lives of people living on another continent and within a society that is very different from our own. This resource aims to bring this global dimension to teaching about and learning from Christianity.

Endorsements

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Author info

Martyn Payne joined the Barnabas Children's Ministry Team in 2003, having worked with CMS (Church Mission Society) for eight years as their National Children's Work Coordinator. Prior to his time with CMS, Martyn worked for 18 years as a teacher in East London. He has produced a wide range of materials on contemporary expressions of Christianity around the world, as well as articles and worship material for RE Today, Together with Children and Roots magazines, and is the author of A-cross the World (Barnabas, 2004). Martyn's other books for Barnabas include Footsteps to the Feast (2007), The People's Bible (2010) and The Big Story (2011).

Reviews

From REtoday - Spring 2013

Where in the World? is a book with great potential! Between its covers, are pages of information and inspiration supporting the teaching of Christianity. It contains material for assemblies and leading worship in primary schools. There is clarity in the content, text and layout.

Throughout the book, as you would expect from an RE resource, there are questions and discussion starters. The following questions might help you decide if this is a book for you: Is the teaching of Christianity, as a worldwide religion, taught with confidence in your school? In your teaching of Christianity, do you look for guidance, facts and background information? Do you need a resource which provides ideas to engage your pupils and enhance learning in RE?

If the answer to any or all is 'Yes', then this handbook is for you, for the staffroom and professional development! It is packed with practical activities and advice, clearly explaining Christianity in terms of core beliefs and practice, as a worldwide faith, in a global context. It will deepen understanding, offering a wide variety of cross-curricular learning experiences and strategies, easily adapted for different age-groups and abilities.

Through the eyes of a migrating swallow named Sparkle and photographs on the Barnabas' website, the story unfolds of a culturally diverse faith found in seven countries. Churches become Sparkle's stop-overs, from Britain to Austria to South Africa, via Romania, Israel, Sudan and Uganda. There are stories, songs, poems and prayers; from different people, places, times and traditions. There are many references and internet links and a useful list of worldwide festivals and anniversaries. There is a five week scheme of work - but there is much more to use, choose and make your own.

Excellent value for money and highly recommended! I know more about Christianity worldwide and have new things to do and share in RE and collective worship. I'm also buying myself a cuddly 'Sparkle', as suggested! A useful resource.


From Church Times - 21 September 2012

As ever, assembly takers across the land will be grateful for the chance to add more volumes to the already groaning assembly shelf. New ideas are always welcome when the responsibilty is daily for 39 weeks. Where in the World?, by Martin Payne, has material both for the classroom and collective worship. The migration of swallows at the end of summer has always been a thing of wonder: the author skilfully uses this annual miracle to explore the Christian faith through the eyes of the world-wide church. From somewhere to everywhere is its engaging sub-theme. An ideal resource for both RE and worship in the autumn term.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857461551
  • Published: 24 August 2012
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
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