Contentfulness, freedom and trust
Josh, a recently trained Godly Play storyteller, reflects on the depth of content in the Godly Play approach, the freedom it offers its participants, and the level of trust in God and the Christian tradition that it depends on.
All the story you need?
Ela thinks about the Great family.
A story for Remembrance inspired by Godly Play
Gloucestershire Trainer Alison Summerskill wrote this story for Remembrance. It has been used with a small group of adults in a short act of worship, and a small group of Y5/6 primary school children in their regular Godly Play session, where it was followed by wondering together about the story. Wondering questions you might use:
I wonder what part of the story you liked best?
I wonder what was the most important part?
I wonder where you are in the story?
I wonder what part of the story we could leave out, and still have all the story we need?
Godly Play Annual Lectures and Conferences
Around St Nicholas’ Day (6th December) each year there is a lecture on children’s spirituality or child theology, hosted by the trainers and trustees of Godly Play UK. The texts of previous lectures can be downloaded below.
Dr Rebecca Nye gave the first Annual Lecture at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey at the official launch of Godly Play UK. Using the landmarks of Poets’ Corner, a medieval wall painting of St Christopher, and St Nicholas’ Day she discusses the importance of religious language, safe space and playfulness for children and adults.
A few days after the first Annual Lecture Rev Peter Privett preached in Newcastle Cathedral for the launch of Godly Play UK. He juxtaposes the story of St Nicholas with Mark 10:13-16 to draw out the themes of passion, power and language.
In The Imagination of God: Godly Play as an imaginative approach to religious education Professor Doctor Martin Steinhauser discusses the role of imagination in Godly Play and in theology
The Second Godly Play lecture
Handout to accompany Second Godly Play Lecture
Using the poetry of Dylan Thomas, Walter de la Mare, and others, Rev Dr John Pridmore takes the image of the child playing by the shoreline to talk about the boundary between what seems to be and what is, children’s capacity for wonder, and Jesus, child of God playing by the shoreline in the Gospels.
Dr Paula Gooder discusses the image of play in Zechariah 8:4-5 and its challenge to us to consider what communities shaped by play might look like. She contrasts Wisdom’s play in Proverbs 8 with play gone wrong in Matthew 11:19 and asks which of those two images our lives reflect.
Dr Anne Richards asks about the God in Godly Play. Looking at a number of passages where children can be found in the bible, she suggests God finds children worthy of calling, salvation, commission, healing and blessing. She highlights the contribution Godly Play can make in work with children.
Rev Dr Jerome Berryman gave the 8th Godly Play lectures over two days. The first traces the theme of laughter in the bible, Greek philosophy, the Early Church and the Middle Ages, through to the laughter found in Godly Play. In the second lecture Jerome talks about his work with children on parables, with particular reference to the parable of the Leaven.
2017 – Rev Peter Privett gave the talk on the Saturday morning of the Annual Lecture 2017, held in Sheffield Cathedral:
Here is the text: Peter Privett’s Lecture Come dance with me – Sheffield Conference 2017
And you can listen to it here:
And you can listen to John Bell’s talk here:
2019 Godly Play Conference. Professor Elizabeth Wood’s Keynote lecture on Play and Freedom. Powerpoint slides and audio.
Introducing Godly Play into your church involves more than a change of curriculum. This article contains advice on things to consider and strategies you might adopt.
Godly Play is much more than a collection of stories. If you decide to create your own stories, this article describes the process of deciding the genre, language and objects, testing and refining in community. There is advice on points to bear in mind when choosing materials.
“Wondering is definitely more of an art than a science. Wondering is not about a closely defined style we can formulate and dutifully follow to ensure a positive result every time. It is much more than learning by heart the carefully researched and worded ‘wondering questions’ that follow the scripts. For the storyteller, leading the wondering means never getting it completely right, and never being able to predict the outcome. It is more open than that.” Rebecca Nye
Published originally in German as: Nye, R. (2008) ‘The art of wondering with children’ in Steinhauser, M (ed.): Godly Play. The playful approach to the discovery of the Bible and faith. Volume 5: Analysis, Action fields, Practice. Leipzig Evangelical Verlagsanstalt
Jerome Berryman outlines the issues to consider in the use of music in Godly Play.
Any age can play, but what about doing Godly Play with adults? Rebecca writes about some of the things to consider when introducing Godly Play to adults