The Easter Story with Lego

In SJ Club we have been looking at the events that lead up to Easter during September and October. This is a slightly unusual time, but gave us the chance to explore some of the main events of Easter week, but without the need to do them during the week!

The series finished on 9th October with Rob McKinley presenting the crucifixion using Lego to tell the story from Luke 23, Matthew 27 and John 20. To help those at the back who might have had trouble seeing the figures he prepared a series of pictures which were on the screen behind him.

We thought they were so good we should share them.

  • Then the whole group of Jewish leaders who had been questioning Jesus stood up and led Jesus to Pilate who was the Roman governor, a powerful man who could make judgements. They began to accuse Jesus. They told Pilate, “We caught this man telling things that were confusing our people. He says that we should not pay taxes to Caesar. He calls himself the Christ, a king.”
  • Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Yes, that is right.”… Pilate called all the people together with the leading priests and the Jewish leaders. He said to them, “You brought this man to me. You said that he was making trouble among the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found him guilty of the things you say. …. Look, he has done nothing for which he should die.
  • Every year at the time of Passover the governor would free one person from prison…At that time there was a man in prison who was known to be very bad. His name was Barabbas.… But the leading priests and elders told the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be freed and for Jesus to be killed.
  • Pilate said, “I have Barabbas and Jesus. Which do you want me to set free for you?” The people answered, “Barabbas!” Pilate asked, “What should I do with Jesus, the one called the Christ?” They all answered, “Kill him on a cross!” Pilate asked, “Why do you want me to kill him? What wrong has he done?” But they shouted louder, “Kill him on a cross!”
  • Pilate saw that he could do nothing about this, and a riot was starting. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. Then he said, “I am not guilty of this man’s death. You are the ones who are causing it!”...
  • Then Pilate freed Barabbas. Pilate told some of the soldiers to beat Jesus with whips. Then he gave Jesus to the soldiers to be killed on a cross.
  • … At that time, there was a man coming into the city from the fields. His name was Simon, and he was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind him. A large crowd of people was following Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying…
  • There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. Jesus and the two criminals were taken to a place called the Skull. There the soldiers nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses, one beside Jesus on the right and the other beside Jesus on the left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. The people stood there watching. The leaders made fun of Jesus. They said, “If he is God’s Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn’t he?”… One of the criminals began to shout insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!”
  • But the other criminal stopped him. He said, “You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment as he is. We are punished justly; we should die. But this man has done nothing wrong!” Then this criminal said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!” Then Jesus said to him, “Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in paradise!”
  • It was about noon, and the whole land became dark until three o’clock in the afternoon. There was no sun! The curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, I give you my life.” After Jesus said this, he died. The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this was a good man!”
  • Many people had gathered there to watch this thing. When they saw what happened, they returned home. They beat their chests because they were so sad. Those who were close friends of Jesus were there. Some were women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched.
  • A man from the Jewish town of Arimathea was there, too. His name was Joseph. He was a good, religious man. He wanted the kingdom of God to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council, but he had not agreed when the other leaders decided to kill Jesus. Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. So Joseph took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put Jesus’ body in a tomb that was cut in a wall of rock…
  • The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and saw inside where the body of Jesus was laid. Then the women left to prepare perfumes and spices…
  • The tomb was sealed because it was night time and then the Sabbath, day of rest
  • Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was still dark. Mary saw that the large stone had been moved away from the tomb.
  • So Mary ran to Simon Peter and another disciple. Mary said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb. We don’t know where they have put him.”
  • So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. They were both running, but the other follower ran faster than Peter…and reached the tomb first. He bent down and looked in. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in.
  • Then following him came Simon Peter. He went into the tomb and saw the strips of linen lying there… Then the other follower, who had reached the tomb first, also went in. He saw and believed...
  • Then the followers went back home. But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. While she was still crying, she bent down and looked inside the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white. They were sitting where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and one at the feet. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
  • She answered, “They have taken away my Lord. I don’t know where they have put him.” When Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know that it was Jesus… Jesus said to her, “Mary.”…
  • Mary Magdalene went and said to the followers, “I saw the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her.
  • When it was evening on the first day of the week, Jesus’ followers were together. The doors were locked, because they were afraid of the elders. Then Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. His followers were thrilled when they saw the Lord.

Learning to Listen to children… about a new club

Over the last few weeks we have been asking the children their thoughts and opinions about starting up a new club during the week. This is in response to our new ethos / project ‘Learn to Listen

Below you can read what we did and lower down you can read what the children wrote down. I would love to have your responses as parents to this idea to so please write in the comments box your own answers or give to me some other way.

Consultation Sessions with SJ Club

  1. Move to choose
  2. Ideas tree 1. New Group for children
  3. Collate and ask which 2 things are most important (not negotiable)
  4. If the church was to set up a group with some of their suggestions… yes or no move
  5. Is a good idea? Why/Why not?

What would be the best place and time for the group to meet?

How often should the group meet?

What age should it be for?

What sort of things/activities should the group do?

How could the group make links with the church?

What else do we need to think about?

  1. Keep a careful record of what the children say so that we would not forget their views and contributions.
  2. At the end of the session, each young person was given a response card and asked ‘If a group was set up with some of the things that you have suggested, would you go?’
  3. At the other end of the room was a board where they could stick their response card:

thumbs up for YES

thumbs down for NO

thumbs sideways for NOT SURE

K4J responses

Where would be good for the group to meet or take place?

  • on the green on sunny days, StAC on others
  • St Andrew’s Centre (Jacob, Katie & Alison)
  • In the park (Piotr)
  • HIJS hall once a week, Wednesday

Who should the group be aimed at? What ages?

  • 5-12, Me! (Alison)
  • 7-10
  • 11-16 (Piotr)
  • 5-12
  • 7-11

In what ways could the group connect with church?

  • talking about Jesus

Which day would be good and what times?

  • Saturday 2-3pm
  • Saturday 12-1.30pm
  • Saturday 12-2pm
  • Monday at 10.30
  • Sunday 3-4pm (Alison)

How often should it happen?

  • once a month (piotr)

What sort of thing would you like to do?

  • nothing because I will not be joining (Piotr)
  • fun stuff (Alison)
  • eating sausages (my favourite)
  • pray crafts pray
  • drawing, talking, praying
  • drawing, praying, talking

Do you think this is a good idea and why?

  • I think this is a good idea because it is
  • it will be fun
  • It’s a good idea because we have more time to join together

Strawberry Juice responses

Where would be good for the group to meet or take place?

  • in the church x2
  • Stable Room x2
  • St Andrew’s Centre x6
  • Minecraft sewer

Who should the group be aimed at? What ages?

  • 7-11 year olds x2
  • 13 months to 11
  • 8+ x3
  • year 6 to year 5
  • year 4,5,6,
  • 8 or 7+
  • 7-10 so it;s not too spread out but more people can come

In what ways could the group connect with church?

  • I don’t know
  • learn the bible
  • activity related to Jesus also learn about Jesus
  • make decorations
  • learning and singing songs about Jesus

Which day would be good and what times?

  • It should take place on a Saturday from 12:00-14:00
  • Saturday 16:00-17:00
  • Sat 3:00-4:00
  • It should happen on a Saturday so it’s not during school days and / or church days in the afternoon
  • Sunday Friday 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Friday 6pm-7pm Sunday 5pm-6pm
  • Saturday 11:50am
  • Twice a week Thursdays 4:30-6:30 and Saturday 5-7pm
  • Saturday 9am
  • Friday 5:00-6:00
  • Saturday 8am-5pm
  • Sunday
  • Saturday afternoon

How often should it happen?

  • once a week x4
  • every week on Sunday x2
  • twice a month
  • twice a week x2

What sort of thing would you like to do?

  • build stuff, camping
  • going on trips
  • play minecraft
  • play games maybe (minecraft you)
  • swimming, maths, games, nerf war?
  • learn about Jesus and play games, camping
  • No Singing. Football, tim & pizza
  • to have fun and get to know Jesus
  • learning the bible

Do you think this is a good idea and why

  • yes because we can make new friends
  • because it sounds awesome
  • yes because you can make new friends who are younger or older than you
  • yes because we can make friends

‘If a group was set up with some of the things that you have suggested, would you go?’

7 gave the thumbs up, 5 not sure, 2 didn’t vote

SJ Club Newsletter May 2016


As the temperature hots up here, it’s going to be getting even hotter for the 12 disciples at Pentecost and for 4 friends who are at the centre of our upcoming series, ‘Heroes of the faith’.

We’ll be celebrating Ascension in it’s usual place followed by Pentecost when we also have a Pentecost Family Party in the afternoon (more of that later). After that we dive into our series on Heroes which will take us right up to the end of term as we spend 5 sessions with Daniel and 2 with Esther. Please pray for us as we will be writing lots of the Daniel material ourselves.

Aside from the Pentecost Family Party, our next Special will be on June 12 and we will end the year on July 24 with an Awards Ceremony to celebrate each of the children.

SJ Club groups

For those of you new, and for clarification for all, there are 5 groups within SJ Club: Seedlings Crèche for 0-3‘s, Acorns for 3-5‘s, JIGSAW for 6-7‘s, K4J for 7-9‘s and Strawberry Juice for 9-11‘s. Children can leave Seedlings to join Acorns from the term after their 3rd birthday if potty trained and parents and leaders all agree. This, we hope will allow us flexibility to move the older children in Acorns up to JIGSAW before they move to Year 1 e.g. from Easter in their Reception year.

The Acorns team begin their session upstairs before joining the other groups downstairs for the story.

The oldest 3 groups meet altogether for a time of praise & worship, hearing the Bible, friendship building and meeting together with God. We then split into our age groups for activities such as games, craft, discussion, quizzes & more that help us to respond to what we have heard.

Parent helper Rotas

We ask every parent, where possible, to help out in a group once each half term. This role is to support the group leader as they ask and gives you a great chance to see what your child is doing. If you end up on a rota but feel this is too much, please let me know. Equally, if you are not on a rota and can be, please tell me as we are often short.

Back in the Winter, Deborah Evans took on the leadership of Seedlings creche, supported by Nic Nevin, Zoë Shuler and others.

I am always on the look out for people to join the teams and lead groups as well. So if you are passionate about helping children meet with God please talk to me.


The year 6 Strawberry Juice children will be moving up to Edge after half term, beginning on Sunday 12 June. They are also invited to begin Edge Fridays on May 27 when I will also be at Edge to help with the transition.

Holiday Club

We’ve got a bit behind with our team recruitment for Holiday Club so we have extended the deadline for applications to May 10 when the Core team will meet to make sure that it is viable to run it this year. The theme is ‘Factory Rock’ and we will be exploring some of the Parables of Jesus as we share with the children what an amazing Kingdom they can belong to if they follow Jesus ways. This is the biggest opportunity we have  to share Jesus with children in our community so please do pray and think (quickly now!) about joining the team. Talk to Tim or Eileen for more an visit the website at or get to it from

Pentecost Party May 14

Following a very successful Party last  year, we are doing something similar on May 14 from 3-5pm: All families are invited to come to this wonderful laid back time. There will be opportunities to create, play, chat, chill, praise God and eat together, or just sit and drink coffee! Whatever, you choose, there will be plenty for children to do.

So come along and help us create a giant flame mural, make your own candle, run as fast as you can, eat delicious food and lot’s more! Do invite friends along too and if you would like to help with the preparation of activities we would be delighted!

Talk to Tim (07905321901, , Rob, Rachel, Rebecca, Chris or any of the SJ Club team to find out more


There is the possibility of running a short course to prepare children for baptism during the summer term. We need to act fast on this to make it happen before the end of July, otherwise it will have to move back to January. If you have any children interested, do get in touch ASAP.


Many of you will already know that I am taking a sabbatical this summer from August through to the end of October. I’ve been here 11 years now so its time to step back, refresh, reflect and hopefully grow and learn a bit too. I’ll probably set up a blog so you’ll be able to keep up with some of what I am doing if you want! The SJ Club team have started to prepare for this and I am totally confident that they will not miss me! However, it would be really helpful if some of you could offer to help out a little more. I’ll be in touch with some more specifics soon as well but one of those will be helping out with Summer SJ Club.

St Andrew’s Kids website This is now being updated most weeks so please keep checking it for information on all things children and families.

Talk to God about

  • Your friends; that you will invite them to SJ Club and they will come to know Jesus too.
  • Your teachers at school and on Sunday at Church and especially with Tim being away from Aug-Oct
  • For Tim’s sabbatical to be really helpful and refreshing
  • Pray this over each other: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord turn his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the lift up his favour upon you and give you his peace, Amen. (Numbers 6. 24-26)
  • Sing a song to each other e.g. The Irish Blessing:

May the Road Rise to meet you

May the wind be ever at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you, may God hold you, ever in the palm of his hands, ever in the palm of his hands

  • Ask each other ‘when have you felt close to God today’ or ‘far from God’ then thank him and ask him for help

Thanks for reading!


Histon Holiday Club


Mr Ivan Goldchest had inherited a small fortune after after his parents died in a mysterious accident in the family run factory. Now he is determined to build the perfect robot who will build the perfect machine to make perfect, err, stuff to make their factory and the whole world a totally safe and perfect place. However, he needs some workers to join him, workers who are fearless and brave, clever and creative and who can work with the factories’ crazy inventor Zyinven Crator and his incredible machines like the Story Machine. All children currently at school (years R-6) are invited to join us to help Ivan Goldchest find out what the ‘Truth Machine’ is trying to say about a special, upside-down and inside-out kind of place. Could it be that a place of wonderful peace and joy already exists? How can we get there?

This year’s Holiday Club is based on the fantastic ‘stories with secret, hidden meanings’, that Jesus told the people of his day. We’ll be finding out what they have to say to us today about life, heaven and having faith in God.

All children currently of Infant of Junior school age are welcome to join us for this annual adventure packed full of stories, songs, drama, messy challenges, quizzes, games, craft and prayers and quieter times too!  It is run by Christians from the local churches.  Tim and Rachel will be our presenters for the week along with a team of around seventy others. Booking is now open for children and we would love to have children signed up early to help us in our planning. Forms will be available through the schools and on the website: or from Tim at the Saint Andrew’s Centre

Histon Holiday Club

Source: Histon Holiday Club

Lent ideas to do as a family

Lent is both about giving up and taking up: giving up things that get in the way of our relationship with God, that stop us from putting him first and living lives pleasing to him; and taking up new ways of living life in the way of Jesus – doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly (Micah 6.8).

As we journey the road to the cross at Easter, Lent is an opportunity to do something special together as a family. Here are some ideas: This is a book you can buy and if 10 people act fast by telling me by Thursday evening (4 Feb) I can order at £2,80 inc. postage A journal for use in families during Lent. It looks really good and the ideas appear to work for a wide range of ages and types. I think it’s not ‘one a day’ but a bit more fluid. Again, if  10 people say ‘yes please’ by Thursday night I can place an order at £4.50 each. Otherwise you can order individually for £6
Pancake Prayers: a great idea for praying while enjoying your pancakes: (this one is free, assuming your cupboard is full of ingredients!)

Another free set of ideas that you can use whenever you like:

Beth Cope has just sent this one in; it’s a bit more pricey and there are no offers so just go for it on your own if you like it.

A Lent Family Book Suggestion:
“Follow Me” by Amy Robinson

In our house, we’re really looking forward to Lent this year! In fact, we’ve started slightly early… we just couldn’t wait to try out the new book by one of our favourite story-tellers, Amy Robinson.

“Follow Me” offers families a daily story or activity to help explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Each week focuses on a familiar bible passage, looking at it from different angles each day. Our Year 3 and 5 children have particularly appreciated Amy’s ‘retellings’ – biblical, entertaining, and thought provoking for adults and children alike. And she has plenty of tips to help the storyteller make the retelling their own.

Cleverly, Amy uses Sundays as a ‘community day’ – inviting us to do small things with friends and family that put what we’ve been talking about into action. Nothing too onerous.

We’re also going to join the online community on facebook, seeing how other families are getting on with the stories throughout Lent. Why not join us? (You can preview the first week online, so it isn’t too late to order your copy and join in!)

Beth Cope

Follow Me is available for £9.99 from

If you have other ideas, please share in the reply box below.


SJ Club Newsletter January 2016

Dear SJ Club families,

As we start a new year it’s good to remember what Super Jesus Club is all about:
to nurture and disciple children in their faith so that they may come to know Jesus as their saviour, Lord and friend
We hope that all your children are settled in to their group – please do keep us in the know on how they are. The groups can vary largely from week to week in number and we are very grateful to those who step in to be an extra pair of hands when needed. On that note, the new rotas are live on the website under SJ Club. Please check all the rotas where you have a child and if you can’t do your slot please try to swap with someone else and let me know. We would also value any help with tidying up at the end of sessions.
Sharing the Good News
We are starting off in the later chapters of Acts seeing how Paul shares the good news of Jesus in every situation good and bad he finds himself in. We are hoping to encourage the children to know they are part of Jesus team today and can play an important part in sharing the good news. Into February and Lent, we are hoping to do a series on ‘Justice’ looking at both old and new testament scriptures. Please would you pray for us as we plan this as it’s not proving easy! As part of this we will be introducing a new ‘Giving Box’ every week and a project that we will work for. We hope to include the children in this decision. More on this as it develops. In the middle there will be two specials, one of which will focus on our link with Rwanda. That will take us up to Easter which will we celebrate in full with another big Special on Good Friday down at the Saint Andrew’s Centre. 
Learn to Listen
Back in the Autumn I went on a National CofE Conference concerned with changing the churches attitudes and practice towards listening to children. This is a very significant project as the church makes a sea change in it’s approach to children and children’s spirituality within the christian faith. You can read all about this on the blog. We began to implement the findings and ideas from this in December and will be making more time to consult the children on how they think the events they are involved in should be run. One of the questions we will be asking them is about starting a new mid-week club at the Saint Andrew’s Centre.
Time in Church
Back in September we asked the older children to move back from the soft area to make more space for the under 5s for who this was designed. Thank you for helping this to happen. The next step is to review what we do in this part of the service and again Ill be asking the children what they think. 
Thats all for now, do check the website for more about what we do and why + special events and thoughts etc
Blessings to you all,

Learn to Listen

In November, I had the privilege of being given a place on a conference called Learn to Listen. This was an exciting and significant time…

Here is my summary of the 48 hours and there is a full report too if you want to read more (national website)


  • to help us listen to the voices of children and young people in our churches and communities


Within ten minutes of the first session beginning, It was clear that I was part an elite task force gathered from across the Church of England given the mission of saving the church from extinction. Whilst that is a bit James bond-esque, there is some truth in it. These 48 hours felt like a significant marker in our work with children and young people and this project is a potential game changer for the church.

There’s nothing more frustrating than thinking that no one is listening to you. Tragically, it’s a feeling children and young people often have. However, in the last few years there has been a growing paradigm shift from previously seeing children as vessels to be filled to increasingly recognising them as candles to burn brightly. Furthermore, as ‘Going for Growth’ states;

…we must commit ourselves to listen to the voices of younger generations and the challenging messages they may bring to light.

Going for Growth, 2010

Learn to Listen is another step in this sea-change. It is based on Biblical precedents such as the call of Jeremiah to rebuild and to plant, and upon British and International Laws relating to the rights of the children to have a say on the things they are involved in. It also stems from knowledge about early childhood brain development that shows how babies are born ready to develop through experiences of interaction with other people – as we listen, we grow.

Tony Cook both stated and showed us that listening to children is not rocket science, but it requires the adult church to change it’s culture, patterns and ways of thinking. We thought about the benefits of listening, the barriers to listening and worked on solutions. Significantly, as someone who has been working in churches full-time with children for 16 years, and who takes pride in listening to the hearts of children and their views on scripture, God and faith, listening to children’s views and opinions on what the church is like, on what they do in church , and on how they meet God has not been a big part of my ministry. I am challenged deeply by this.

Ali Langton and Ester Gregory shared their experiences of how youth councils and children’s councils can work with great and profound impact and Sonia Mainstone-Cotton took us through the practical and ethical issues involved in working with children in their early years, showing that they have a deep sensitivity to other’s needs as well as their own and that they have a powerful voice that needs to be heard as well.

The truth is that children and young people have much to give to the church and some, if not all, have a prophetic voice to the church, for today. Dare we risk missing that voice? I know the feeling of being listened to and being heard. It feels good. It builds me up, gives me confidence and inspires me to do more. We need our children to feel this, to feel valued and engaged, to feel like they own the church, are genuinely part of it and can actually make a difference. Without this, many will leave the church.

Below, and on the Learn to Listen website there are scores of thoughts, ideas, reasons, benefits and tools to back this up and enable every church, big and small to listen to the voices of children and young people. There are 300 questions to ask children, simple ideas for holding a consultation session, ideas for involving young people on PCC and creating a children’s PCC and countless more.

It was a very encouraging and challenging time with excellent input, guidance and facilitation from people with a great heart for children young people and the church. So to sum up in short; ask questions, listen and act upon what children say.