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Book Club Helps Under Tens Encounter Biblical Heroes

Date: 16 February 2022

A wonderfully creative idea from the Children & Families Team Leader at St Paul’s Tongham is helping local children under ten build their reading skills and encounter heroes from the Bible. Pam Welch, who took on the voluntary role of Children & Families Team Leader in December 2019, was inspired by book clubs and children’s work on holiday when she was younger and started the ‘Bible Heroes Book Club’ for under ten-year-olds in September of last year.

Pam explains how it works ‘The club involves the children receiving a personalised pack with a Bible story book, personalised chart and other goodies - balloon, stationery and chocolate - about seven inexpensive items I know they’ll like. They swap their books with me when they see me - in church, at the bus stop or at my front door – and get a nice sticker for each book they read. After three stickers they get to pick a from the choccy basket, get a certificate presented in church and go to the next level. There are six levels, so by the time they finish they have read 18 Bible books about Bible Heroes!’

When it started six months ago, nine children were given packs and this has now tripled to 27, two-thirds of whom are not regular members of the church. The children can progress at their own speed and, with one finished and four more than halfway through, the group have read an amazing 128 Bible story books between them. And the numbers continue to expand and grow with their library having increased from 17 to 46 books thanks to kind donations of books from Revd Claire Holt, Vicar of St Paul’s and other key members of the church. 

‘The children are really engaging. They love the books, stickers, chocolate, certificates and sense of achievement.’ Says Pam about the benefits of the club, ‘It’s a fun and easy way to encourage discipleship at home, and the certificates are a great way for the rest of church to encourage the children too. Plus, it's environmentally friendly as they are all sharing the books; parents and grandparents like the way the scheme is really engaging children and a great alternative to screen time.’

Emma Coy, the Diocese’s Mission Enabler for Children & Families, writes, ‘I often talk to churches about developing some sort of Faith at home library, but this idea takes that a step further without the need for masses more time, energy or resources. I will certainly be telling others about this, I love it!’

Interested in starting your own Book Club? Contact Emma Coy for a free digital pack.

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