Puppets bring Bible stories to life at Breakfast Celebrate!

Published: Monday October 31, 2022

Two puppets in actionOne year ago, the North Cheltenham Ministry team, headed by Team Rector the Revd Nick Bromfield, relaunched Breakfast Celebrate! – an all-age family service which has been bringing people together to worship in a fun and informal way for over 15 years. Nick shares how Puppet Ministry has brought the gospel to a new generation.

Each Sunday at 9am, around 50–60 parents and children (usually half and half) meet at Prestbury St Mary’s School to share a unique time together, to learn more about God and connect with one another. Following the lectionary means that major festivals can attract 60–70, often with visiting grandparents coming too. Starting with a continental-style breakfast, and on occasion sausage and bacon rolls, everyone has chance to reconnect and catch up before the main activities begin.

Nick says, “Since it began in the noughties, the original Celebrate! has grown and developed in different ways into Breakfast Celebrate! as we know it today. Coming out of the pandemic, and with the leaders at the time moving on to new things, came an opportunity to relaunch the service and offer a fresh way to engage our families and young people. The success of the Puppet Ministry at Holy Trinity Tewkesbury had inspired us to invest in a collection of puppets. We put an order in with One Way UK – a Christian company which makes and sells puppets to share the gospel stories. And, with some useful guidance from One Way UK and Holy Trinity, we introduced the puppets to our Breakfast Celebrate! service.

“It’s been fantastic. The children and their parents and grandparents have really enjoyed using the puppets. Each week, using the Christian scripts from One Way UK and other puppet ministry sources, we re-tell a Bible story using our characters. The puppet show itself is largely run by the children, who have lots of fun operating them and using their voices for the characters. It’s lovely to see their confidence, and their faith, growing week by week.”

After the puppet show, there is a short, related activity and the service finishes informally with coffee and chat.

Nick adds: “There is a dedicated leadership team who get ready for the service every Saturday and prepare the slides and music alongside the breakfast, who are modest and devout, and their efforts dictate the welcoming atmosphere each Sunday morning. Thanks to them, no one is a stranger, and everyone knows your name.

“What’s particularly nice is that for the families there’s no need to rush off to be anywhere or to clear up for other events. Being located at the school gives us the flexibility to do that. However, some weeks I feel a little like Superman in the phone box with the quick changes I have to do – with 8am Eucharist at St Mary’s church, 9am Breakfast Celebrate! at Prestbury St Mary’s and then 11am Holy Communion back at church – but it’s immensely rewarding, and I just love getting to know people and seeing them each week.”

Sarah, a parent who attends the service, said, “We love coming to Breakfast Celebrate! on a Sunday morning. The welcome we received was incredible, it has such a close-knit community feel. Our favourite things are the breakfast pastries, puppets and musical instruments. Everyone is so friendly.”

With a regular number of people coming along, the service has grown and continues to flourish, welcoming new families to the area, from the wider community. Why not go along and see for yourself?

If your church has found unique ways to engage with families, why not share your story too? Email  Âku.1680184050gro.c1680184050oidso1680184050lg@ne1680184050woak1680184050

Interested in Puppet Ministry? Take a look at the One Way UK website: Puppets from One Way UK – Hand Puppets and Training

Leave a Reply

Most popular articles today: