Jesus the king? Stories of the Kingdom: a Footsteps event

This followed on from our event for the local primary school: Jesus the king? Stories of the Kingdom which focused on the kingdom parables of the Pearl, the Great Feast and the Mustard Seed.

We added boards with pictures, a brief outline of the story and a couple of wondering questions to the original displays.

We held this event after school and began with refreshments.


As several of the children had been to the event with the school, we decided to add another kingdom parable using a powerpoint presentation. We felt that the parable of the workers in the vineyard would work well in this context.

Pictures of vineyard workers were shown being hired at different times of day alternating with a picture of the coin and the refrain "They were paid one denarius".

We showed this to the children while they had a snack and a drink. After we asked them:

"I wonder how the workers who were first felt about being paid one denarius?"

"I wonder how the workers who were last felt about being paid one denarius?"

"I wonder why the master paid all the workers the same?"

The stations

1 The Mustard Seed

We draped the font with green cloths and hung an African cloth with a tree design behind it. We also used branches to create a tree like effect. Bitds and nests were displayed on the cloths.

As a response to this story the children were invited to plant mustard and cress seeds in small plant pots.

2 The Great Feast:

The area was hung with red and gold cloths. A feast was set out using goblets, gold and silver platters and pretend food. We added symbols of kingship - crowns, sceptre and orb (these had been passed onto us by the local Women's Institute!)

3 The Great Pearl

We draped the altar with blue and white organza and used one of the kings from our crib set to represent the merchant. We piled oyster shells around and the merchant held one oyster shell containing a pearl bead. We also had a dolls house for the children to play with (all the merchant possessed) and weighing scales.

Creative response

We added extra crafts to those that we had used with the school children.

We put down a long strip of wallpaper and painted a brown vine along it. We provided purple and green paint for the children to print bunches of grapes using corks.

They also had the opportunity to paint circles with pearlised paintsticks, stick feathers and decorate bird shapes.

We left out the sand art and the seed planting and they were also free to interact and play with the different stations.

How well did it work?

We found that sitting the children down, with a drink and snack, for the powerpoint presentation worked well. At this stage of the Christmas term the children were very tired, especially the smaller ones.

Many of the older children had been with school, so the powerpoint provided a good contrast and the simplicity of the story engaged both children and adults, provoking a discussion about fairness.

They all loved the crafts and activities, particularly the coloured sand. The pre-schoolers seemed more engaged than usual, both with the story and with the crafts.


(with thanks to Rowena Berridge, Ali Booth, Sue Parr and the team and also to Victoria Goodman, Rachel Nicholls and the Cambridge Church Schools Trust events team)