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Membership FAQs

Confused about membership? Here are some questions and answers about our new scheme, including conversations between our Head of OtB, Kerry Evans, and our Head of Communications, Mark Woods.

Why are we moving to a membership scheme? 

At the moment, it’s very difficult to track who’s an OtB Storyteller and who isn’t. We have people on our database who haven’t been in touch with us for a long time, and others acting as Storytellers who aren’t ‘officially’ registered with us at all. We need accurate details so we can be accountable, and so we can be sure our Storytellers have all the information they need.

Why are we charging for membership?

OtB’s ministry has hugely expanded, not just in England and Wales but globally, thanks to the investment Bible Society has made in this wonderful programme. Every charity has running costs, though. OtB operates over the whole of England and Wales, and staff support costs money. So does the production of material, training, online resources and publicity. To continue to meet this growing need we have to try and cover some of our costs. We’re deeply grateful for the time and talents Storytellers already give, and hope members will catch the vision for this great opportunity and partner with us in this way too – your membership helps keep Open the Book operational and effective. 

Old material and Membership costs

What about the old material?

You’ll be able to use The Lion Storyteller Bible until July 2024, after which it will be ‘retired’. From then on, all OtB teams will use the new book. We’ll also rewrite the existing resources area on our website.

Why are you updating the programme?

When OtB started, no one knew how successful it would be. It’s grown up bit by bit, and some of the content isn’t as good as it might be. Some of it needs changing because things have changed in the 30 years since The Lion Storyteller Bible was published, too. We’ve listened to Storytellers who’ve suggested new ways of doing things, and we’ve tried to make the new Storyteller Bible just right for primary-age children today. We think you’ll love it! 

New programme

Why are we having two levels of membership?

We know some Storytellers will go into schools infrequently and won’t need access to the full programme. Or sometimes two Storytellers might share materials (e.g. if they’re a married couple). Having an Associate Member status (£5.00 per year) means we can offer the level of membership appropriate to people’s situation, at a lower cost. We think Full Membership (£20.00 per year) is a great option for most people, and it helps support OtB’s ministry! But if you want to compare the differences, we’ve created a table here.

What happens if someone doesn’t want to be a member?

If someone chooses not to sign up to be a Full or Associate Member they will become a Heritage Storyteller until July 2024, and will be able to serve in a storytelling team until then. Some Storytellers might use this time to decide they want to join as Members after all, but we know that some have been doing this for a long time and may just want to lay this ministry down. If so, we’re deeply grateful to them and delighted they can end well. After July 2024 we’ll remove the Heritage Storyteller category, and non-Members won’t be able to serve as Storytellers.

How to pay for Membership

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