New Year – collective worship idea

to reflect on the idea of a new start

You will need:
An exercise book that’s full from last term
A brand new exercise book that’s empty

If you do the optional extension, you will also need:
A laminated sheet of light-coloured paper
A sharpie pen
A normal felt tip pen
A paper tissue.

Show the brand new exercise book, and ask how it makes people feel: they may talk about the excitement of a new, fresh book, with no mistakes in it, and how we might be scared to write in it, in case we spoil it. Some people may mention the ‘fresh exercise book’ smell.

Show the old exercise book – how does this one make us feel?  People may say it’s ‘old’ or ‘dirty’ or ‘finished with’, or ‘dog-eared’.
It’s full of a combination of mistakes and good things, and you can trace through the pages the things that are being learned and improved. By Easter, the new book will look just like the old one – full of mistakes and good things, but mostly full of learning.

New starts are a wonderful chance to try and do things right, but we never truly start from scratch: without all our past mistakes and what we learned from them, we would be beginning all over again, and make all the same mistakes we made before.  We build on our past, and our mistakes are part of that.

Optional extension:

Enjoy this new page, this new chapter, this new book – and think about what things you’d like to take with you, as well as the things you want to leave behind.  As for suggestions, and write ‘habits to keep’ in sharpie pen, and ‘habits to say goodbye to’ in normal felt tip, then wipe it with a cloth – the habits to keep will stay, and the others will disappear.


Dear God,
We give you our past – our mistakes and our triumphs.
Help us learn from all that we have done,
and from all that has happened to us.
We give you our future – our hopes and our fears.
Help us to make the most of each new opportunity,
and to remember that each day can be a new start.

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