Primary School celebrates Open the Book Volunteer’s 104th Birthday 

Posted: 2nd May, 2023

An Open the Book volunteer in Devon has just celebrated his 104th Birthday in a special school celebration.

John Allen, from Crediton, is a regular Open the Book volunteer. He is part of the Open the Book team at Haywood’s Primary School, Crediton, and regularly shares stories either in the school, or will send video stories for the children.

Open the Book is a Christian organisation, which give primary school children the opportunity to hear Bible stories during assemblies or acts of collective worship. The stories are told in creative and engaging ways, by a team of Christians from local churches.There are a number of Open the Book teams across Devon who regularly visit local primary schools and share Bible stories with children.

On the 23 March, Haywood’s Primary School invited John and The Book team to perform the Easter Story for the pupils.

It was at the end of the performance that pupils and staff celebrated John’s birthday milestone. John’s 104th birthday was on the 26 March.

Before the pandemic, Haywood School had a celebration for John’s 100th Birthday in 2019. His 100th Birthday celebration was held in an assembly which The Bishop of Crediton, the Rt. Rev’d Jackie Searle, was in attendance.

John fondly remembers his first Open the Book involvement, in which he played Luke and had to sit at a table with a quill pen, writing his memoirs.

John said, “Open the Book works really well. The children enjoy it and the staff are very helpful.

“I believe the children are mainly from households without a Bible, so this is the only way they’ll hear about the stories which mattered to me as a boy, which I recall influencing the course of my life.”

Open the Book can be the highlight of the week for school children. See why in this video: