A story line on Dr Who about mystery cubes, some story cubes that are used to help develop language skills in pupils and a sermon I once saw which involved a globe drawn on a cube all merged into our latest project at St Giles’ RE and Faith Development Centre in Wrexham. We have called it “You Cube.”
This has become our part of the St Asaph Diocese “Year of Pilgrimage”.
In Wrexham we have collected stories about people’s life and faith journeys. We had 1000 cardboard “story boxes” made which we gave to schools, colleges and community groups to discover local faith stories.
The flat-pack cardboard cubes have six outer faces and an inside space too. (When they are dismantled they form the shape of a cross.
We encouraged people to collect stories that relate to 7 themes from the life of Jesus. There is one theme for each face of the cube and the final one to be posted or placed inside the box. The seven themes are: Beginnings, Growing, Miracles/surprises, New beginnings, Healing, Farewells and Resurrection/ hopes for the future.
The cubes were decorated with words, pictures, photographs, collage and many imaginative combinations of these. Some were made by groups and some by individuals. Some had a local theme and others were very personal. One child submitted a cube decorated in Braille. Another young person managed to put lights in the cube and several cut the cube to make “stained glass” effect panels. The words and images on and in the cubes have been very touching to read. One school used the project to collect memories of a child from their school who had died. Some of the cubes tell Christian stories, others come from different traditions, some have no specific faith affiliation. We are using some of the cubes for research about how children tell their faith stories. Some are decorations in our church and others have become part of an intergenerational project, whereby we put them in or near the pews on a Sunday for adults to use as “toys,” made for them by children, so that the adults can “play” with them if they get bored during the service!
We have also built with the cubes in liturgy. At Christmas we made the cubes into a wall and thought about how faith stories can divide people. Connections were made with the wall around Jerusalem now. We dismantled the wall and built a shelter making a stable for the Holy Family at Christmas. Now in the run up to Easter we are building a road from the cubes and exploring the meaning of “Jesus the Way” and we will open some of the cubes to reveal the cross and to help our thinking about the costly love shown in the crucifixion.
Local artist Victoria Crompton has used some images made in some of our schools for this project to make 7 beautiful ceramic images which will be displayed in St Giles’ Church in Holy week. Local stone mason Stephen Price has kindly donated engraved slabs outside the church to form an open air trail engraved with the seven “stations” of the cubes. Schools and community groups will be welcome to come and make use of these story trails. This has been such a fun project and so rich in the experiences that it has uncovered.
For more information contact Rev’d Mary Stallard firstname.lastname@example.org 07779418007.
Canolfan San Silyn ar gyfer Addysg Grefyddol a Datblygu Ffydd
Eglwys San Silyn Wrecsam
St Giles’ Centre for RE and Faith Development
St Giles’ Church Wrexham LL13 8LY