About Us - Bible Society

About Us

About Us Cy

Open the Book (OtB) started as a local project of church volunteers going into a few schools in Bedford in 1999. Dianne Brookes and Jacqueline Rodwell decided to get the project going in Gloucestershire and, in 2007, a former trustee of SU saw the potential and worked with the people from Bedford and Gloucestershire to form a national charity. With increasing demand, OtB joined Bible Society in 2013.

Storytellers & Trainers

Login now  or register to become a Storyteller here

Meet the team

Julie Jefferies, OtB Development Manager

Email: training@openthebook.net

Julie first became involved in Open the Book as a Storyteller and then a volunteer Trainer for Open the Book from 2008. Julie, is currently the OtB Development Manager overseeing a team of five regional trainers and three supporting staff. She oversees all things OtB including writing the strategy, handling the budget and casting the vision of OtB with the help of the Advisory Group. Julie leads the OtB staff team in all our activities and projects.

Val Ralston, Training and Promotions Officer

Email: valr@openthebook.net

Val travels up and down the country - sometimes with Bob Hartman – sharing the vision of Open the Book in a fun and interactive way at national festivals and exhibitions. She also delivers information sessions and training days in areas where there are no local trainers. Val is also specifically responsible for developing OtB in the Chilterns area.

Training & Development Officers

Lynn Satchell – West Midlands

Lynn operates around the West Midlands area where she has had opportunity to start developing material for urban areas where there are schools which have children of mixed ethnicity. If this work proves successful, this material can then be rolled out to other urban areas. Birmingham City Mission have been playing a key role in getting this off the ground.

Nigel Langford - North London

Email: nigell@openthebook.net

Nigel has planted a church in North East London but has also been working to develop this area for Open the Book. His networking across London is opening doors for OtB teams to get started in this new area. Working with London City Mission Nigel is seeing his first teams get registered and started.

Martha Flavell – North East

Email: marthaf@openthebook.net

Martha is our newest officer and has been recruited to develop OtB in the north East of England, specifically North of York. A large area to cover, Martha has quite the challenge in this beautiful part of the country. 

Meleri Cray & Sarah Morris – South Wales – Seconded from The Presbyterian Church of Wales

Meleri and Sarah are sharing coverage in the South Wales and Cardiff area. Meleri travels more to South West Wales and Sarah to the South East. Their shared part-time work has already seen growth of Welsh teams who speak English and/or Welsh. As they both speak Welsh, they are able to form more teams using our Welsh resources.

Office Staff

Katie Walker, Project and Training Support Officer

Email: enquiries@openthebook.net

Katie is your go-to person for answering queries across a wide range of subjects both OtB and Bible Society related. Katie joined Bible Society in 1982 so has a vast knowledge of how things work at the office. She is also adept at all things training as she organises a range of services to make our events successful and works closely with all our trainers across the country trying to match up training needs. Katie also oversees data compliance requirements.

Shirley Townley, Safeguarding & OtB Development Officer

Email: enquiries@openthebook.net

Shirley is responsible for collating and editing news for the Storytellers’ and Trainers’ newsletters, as well as ensuring the website has all relevant copy and design in place. She manages the production and reprints of Handbooks and Storybooks and is also responsible for overseeing the Safeguarding Policy for Bible Society and Open the Book.

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group for Open the Book contributes ideas to support the development of Open the Book through strategy and activity. It provides guidance and advice to Bible Society staff and leadership to:

  • recognise the perspectives of the different contributors to the success of Open the Book, i.e. supporters, storytelling teams, schools, churches, employed staff and other contributors
  • seek advice on the best ways to communicate with and inspire Storytellers and others in the nation so that Open the Book prospers and grows.

The Advisory Group brings a variety of expertise and perspectives. Currently the Advisory Group is made up of some Bible Society employees, some ex Open the Book trustees and some with Education experience.

What we do

There are lots of ways that you can get involved with Open the Book! Our wonderful growth has happened because people love being volunteer Storytellers. Teams form from local churches, get the local school interested, sign up the team, order resources, get training and then go and do assemblies/collective worship in their local school on a weekly or fortnightly basis when possible.

See how you can get involved with one of these ideas

What you can do

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759