for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

May 29 2005

These are notes and comments on some of the items which appear in the Family Service script. Links from the script point to these entries; clicking the links in the left hand column of the table takes you back to the corresponding link in the script  - or, where more than one link from the script points to the note, back to the first such link.

The comments are typically related to features of the service which are specific to our church or the time of the service, or which for some other reason we think might require alteration for another setting.

For references to the internal geography of the church, it might be helpful to inspect the plan.

Properties : Bell;
Electric fan; .
Board for easel;
Basket for the 'badges'.
Children's activity.
Furniture : Easel;
People : Overheads person at front before service begins.
At the beginning : Hand out "Hearts" with the order of service.

ACTIVITY Something to occupy the children quietly during the sermon, and other bits without much action. We don't remember what it was.
BASKET The basket holds the flames used as lapel badges. It should be prepared beforehand and kept somewhere inconspicuous near the front so that the Narrator can set it out at the end.
BELL A traditional ( as opposed to electric ) bell. It should make a clear and loud "bong". It must ( obviously ) be audible, but needn't be visible. It marks Peter's denials; a single loud chime at each denial is sufficient.
BOARD The board is covered in winceyette ( white ), so that the hearts can be easily attached to it. When in use, it is stood on the easel.
BOAT The "Boat" is entirely imaginary.

Get the people in one or two rows as if rowing a boat across the front of the available space. They make rowing motions using imaginary oars. When casting the net and pulling it in, they make obvious motions, as modelled by X. When the boat turns back to shore, they all turn round on the spot and "row" the other way.

Curiously effective, and much enjoyed.

BOB DOWN There is no particular reason for these actions - it's just a bit of fun. In practice, people seemed to enjoy it. ( One might suggest that it emphasises the two significant phrases "fishers of men" and "follow Me". )
COCK CROW We used a sound file ( from a web-site ) of a cock crowing, played through a computer. ( Sorry - we've forgotten the file's address. Search for "Sound effects cock crow", or similar. )
COUNT THE FISH - NOT from 1 to 153 ! The fishermen mime moving fish from one pile to another, counting as they go from 1 to about 5, starting at normal volume but getting quieter as they go; then when silent, they "move a few more fish", then with increasing volume count from about 145 to 153. They should sound astonished and delighted as they approach the end.
EASEL Supports the board; it should be put somewhere inconspicuous but readily accessible so that the stagehand can move it to the front of the church when required.
FAN The fan blows air onto the streamers, symbolising the "wind and fire" effect of the Holy Spirit. It should be strong enough to stir the streamers visibly, but not strong enough to encourage them to tangle together. ( That took quite a bit of experimenting. ) It should also be invisible and inaudible. Our fan was on the floor behind the altar, directed upwards, with the streamers mounted above. It should be possible to switch it on without anyone visibly going near to it.
FLAMES Flame-shaped pieces of red, yellow and orange card with doubled-over masking tape on the back ( the masking tape sticks the 'flame' onto 'lapel' ) for the 'lapel' badges.
HEARTS Heart shapes cut out of red card ( we got eight hearts out of one A4 piece of card ). On the back of each card glue a strip of winceyette so that the heart can easily be attached to the board.
PETER 2 During Peter's reminiscence, a second actor plays his younger self in the "flashbacks". This worked well, and nicely differentiates between the Peter telling the story and the remembered Peter.
SIDE It doesn't matter which side; they should be somewhere out of the way of the action, but still visible and clearly watching the performance.
STREAMERS A curtain - around 3 metres long - of dangling red, yellow, green and orange crepe paper strips suspended well above and behind the altar. It symbolises the wind and flames of the Holy Spirit. It should not be in a draught - the effect depends on the streamers beginning to move when the fan is turned on during a reading.


The streamers were suspended from a bamboo pole. We glued one end of each streamer around the pole then suspended it from the ceiling about 50cm from the wall behind the altar with stabilisers to the wall. A fan was placed under the streamers and turned on during the reading from Acts.

Y WILL NOW SING TO US - because he wanted to. There's no reason why everyone shouldn't sing.