A-Cross the World An Exploration of Forty Representations of the Cross from the Worldwide Christian Church by Martyn Payne, Betty Pedley

A-Cross the World An Exploration of Forty Representations of the Cross from the Worldwide Christian Church

Written by Martyn Payne, Betty Pedley
Illustrated by


A-Cross the World An Exploration of Forty Representations of the Cross from the Worldwide Christian Church by Martyn Payne, Betty Pedley

Around the world today the cross is, arguably, the one universally recognized symbol of the Christian faith, but this unifying sign for diverse Christian communities has been much adapted, decorated and interpreted to convey particular stories that are dear to the community from which they come. This book tells the stories behind forty crosses from a wide diversity of cultures and Christian faith traditions and sets out to promote discussion and debate on why this single, historical event continues to exercise such an influence worldwide. The book is divided into two sections. Section One contains: Stories, information, Bible links, wondering questions and suggested activities on the forty crosses, together with suggested prayers and words from across the world based on that particular cross. The material for this section was originally produced in-house by the Church Mission Society. Section Two contains: A wealth of extension material ideal for use in the classroom at Key Stage 1 and 2, in collective worship and in church-based activities, including icebreakers, games, prayers and poems, crafts and session outlines for special activity days, assemblies, holiday clubs and all-age worship.


From World Mission - BMS July/August 2005 A-cross the World as the title cleverly suggests is a children's work resource which explores the way the central symbol of the church has been illustrated and interpreted a-cross the world. Here is a collection of 40 crosses, from different countries, each with its own understanding and interpretation of the Christian faith. The book is divided into two sections, the first giving us the background for each cross. They are well illustrated (with photocopy permission given), and linked to a particular Bible story. We are also given the background behind each cross and details about the life of the Church in that part of the world. The book has been divided to represent six different regions: Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Europe. Another useful bonus is that all of the crosses are available as colour illustrations on the BRF website, and can be downloaded to use in presentations. Section two contains teaching materials for leaders and teachers so that a programme can be built around the different crosses. As with most BRF children's material, it has been designed in a way which makes it relevant for school and church use. For churches there is a holiday club outline programme, several Sunday school or children's club outlines, with ideas for all-age worship, discussion starters and craft ideas for producing the different crosses. Although the idea of producing 40 crosses as a craft project sounds very mundane, they have succeeded in coming up with a wide range of mediums including clay, straw, metal, fabric, wood, paper and card. For school use the material has been divided into key stages 1 and 2, with plenty of ideas for collective worship. Within this section there is a wealth of ideas including icebreakers, games, prayers, poems, quotations, craft ideas, stories and references. I believe this resource is a useful reference and practical ideas book for those who work with children in school or church. Reviewed by Aled Davies, Baptist minister in North west Wales and Director of the Council for Sunday School and Christian education in Wales. From: Morovian Church Youth & Children's Newsletter Spring 2005 Most people recognise the cross as symbolic of Christians - but have you ever thought about how many variations there are on the theme? In this book you will find forty different representations of the cross - from African and Anchor to Taize and triparted - as well as a huge range of activities, crafts, worship ideas and games that could be used in churches, with after school groups or in holiday clubs. Why look at these crosses? Because they reflect the many different cultures where Jesus is worshipped and give some idea of the range and breadth of Christian symbolism around the world. The book is clearly illustrated, has masses of material and would be brilliant as the basis of a holiday club for 5-11 year olds. From: Magnet Spring 2005 This very attractive, well produced book will be of interest to adults and children alike. It tells the stories behind forty crosses from a wide variety of cultures and Christian. traditions and encourages discussion as to why this symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus continues to have such a worldwide influence. There are plenty of craft ideas which are easy to follow, with suggestions for use in schools and churches. From Star News London diocese newsletter for children's leaders January 2005 Around the world, the cross is recognised as a symbol of the Christian faith, but Christian communities have adapted, decorated and interpreted it to express something of the story from which they come. A-Cross the World explores 40 different representations of the cross from Christian communities including Sudan, South India, Ethiopia, El Salvador and Iran. The first part of the book gives the background, Bible links and activity ideas for each of the crosses. The second part has extension material which could be used in school, Sunday groups or holiday clubs. This part has ideas for icebreakers, assemblies, activity days and all-age worship. With a bit of adaptation, you could also use it as the focus for a Lent course with adults or mixed ages. From Childs Talk: Liverpool diocese newsletter for children's workers January 2005 First published by CMS in ring binder format, this book includes fifteen new crosses and a wealth of suggestions as to how to use the resource with school & church groups or as part of worship. Part One contains stories of forty crosses from around the world, including a Bible link, craft ideas, and information about the life of the Christian Church in that part of the world. Part Two contains material and ideas for special events and situations such as all-age worship, a two-hour programme and holiday club. Includes permission for photocopying.

About the Author

Martyn Payne is BRF's Messy Church researcher. His role is to visit Messy Churches up and down the UK, listening to the stories of how Messy Church is developing, networking good practice and bringing encouragement. He has a background in Bible storytelling and leading all-age worship and is passionate about the blessing that comes when generations explore faith together. Martyn, who is a qualified teacher, has worked with BRF for over twelve years contributing to training and resources and leading Barnabas RE days; prior to this he worked with the Church Mission Society as its national children's work coordinator. His books include A-cross the World (2004), Footsteps to the Feast (2007), Where in the World? (2012), The Big Story (2011), Creative Ways to tell a Bible Story (2013) and The Barnabas Family Bible (2014). In 1992 Betty Pedley became the Wakefield Diocesan Parish Education Adviser, especially developing all-age worship. She was the co-writer of Children in the Church?, which was published by the National Society and Church House Publishing in 1997. Later, also with Revd John Muir, she wrote Come and Join the Celebration to support the introduction of Common Worship, and this was published in 2001. Betty was a regular contributor to the magazine Together With Children. Betty was priested in 2003 and she moved from her diocesan post to being priest-in-charge of two parishes. She retired in August 2008 but she is still running all-age crafts and is involved in a project for under fives, which is attached to a church in Bradford.

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Book Info


160 pages


Martyn Payne, Betty Pedley
More books by Martyn Payne, Betty Pedley


Barnabas in Schools an imprint of BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)

Publication date

21st January 2011



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