Part of my presbyteral appointment is chaplain to Gunnerside & Reeth Confederated Primary school in Swaledale.

In January, I spent time with the 14 children in Year 5 talking about New Year resolutions and the importance of keeping promises. Briefly I sketched the outline of the story of Jonah and suggested they updated it, to help the story connect with the other pupils watching their assembly.
The following week, I returned to find that a teenage girl named Jo had replaced Jonah, and she was told by God to go to the fallen city of Newcastle, as short dramas demonstrated how gambling, robbery and fighting were diverting the people from worshipping God.

But Jo didn’t want to go; so she got on an aeroplane flying to Spain – the inside of the aircraft becoming three plastic chairs, sitting one behind the other. The air hostess did her quick safety routine and they were up, up and away.

Soon the plane hit a storm, with the pilot announcing they had to abandon the aircraft; Jo was first on her feet as she told the crew that the storm was her fault for not obeying God. She grabbed her parachute (a handy Tesco carrier bag) and jumped from her seat to the floor, as the narrator explained how she then landed on a ferry going to Newcastle and realised there was nowhere from which she could escape God.

Janet Park
School chaplain