New gospel truth by Wearside schoolchildren

The Rev John Wall with some of the pupils from East Herrington Primary School who contributed to the schoolchildren's Gilpin Gospel book.

The Rev John Wall with some of the pupils from East Herrington Primary School who contributed to the schoolchildren's Gilpin Gospel book.

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SCHOOLCHILDREN have helped create a new gospel.

The Gilpin Gospel has been created by pupils in schools in the Houghton area.

With the help of the semi-retired Reverend John Wall, youngsters produced the 16 different chapters for the book, which is based on Mark’s Gospel, the shortest gospel in the Bible.

Although named the Gilpin Gospel, the book is not about the famous Houghton rector.

Rev Wall said the title was chosen because of his significance in the town.

Rev Wall, who is working part-time on the East Durham Methodist circuit, said: “I can’t really remember where the idea started but I was talking to one of the headteachers in the area about doing this.

“I’ve managed to be the moving force behind it. I went around the schools and asked them if they were interested in getting involved.”

“I managed to get 13 of the 16 schools around the area interested.

“We then put together special paper for the gospel, which each school was given to put their chapter on.

“I had to go around the schools two or three times as they put their work together, so that all the children could see it.

“Each child did around two or three verses by themselves.

“The children seemed to enjoy it.

“Their teachers were saying how it was a good chance for them improve on their handwriting skills.”

Rev Walls now hopes the finished piece will be used to educate children across Houghton on the Bible’s teachings.

“Now, I’m going into schools showing the finished gospel,” he said. “The churches in Houghton are also using it, which is great.”

The completion of the book has coincided with this year’s Houghton Feast, the ancient festival which dates back to the 1100s.

Feast events came to a close on Sunday, following a 10-day extravaganza.

Twitter: @davidallison88