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Mark 2:1-12

This story has the heading "Jesus heals a paralytic" in the New International Version of the Bible but, if you read it carefully, you'll see that Jesus mainly wants to show the people that he has the authority to forgive sins by healing the paralysed man.

The pictures on the right of your screen show the props I built for a sketch about this passage. They were made of hardboard, each 1200x600mm, or 4ft x 2ft in the old money. The taller chimney, with the stork, used two bits joined together with a piece of wood. Other bits of wood were used to keep the chimneys standing up. I made them lean back a little so there was no risk of them falling over forwards.

The stork has no relevance, and I suppose it shouldn't be there really. But I enjoyed drawing it.

This was a very cheap visual aid - the hardboard was in the loft and the wood was in the shed. All I needed to buy was a tin of terracotta emulsion, a red match pot and a black match pot. I had some white emulsion in the cupboard under the stairs. I made the bricks slightly different colours by mixing in a bit of white or red or black emulsion with the terracotta colour. The chimneys were cut out with a jigsaw.

The church has a modular stage that we assembled in the chancel to raise the roof up a little. We left a hole in the middle so we could drop things down or pull them out, as appropriate.

You can download the sketch. It consists of a load of terrible jokes strung together to tell the story. If you want to hear it, and the talk that went with it, it's available on the St James' web site.

Rooftop sketch
This is the original sketch for the rooftop scene.

the set, in church
And this is how it turned out in church.


small chimney
What a realistic chimney.

large chimney
I'm not sure why there's a stork on this London chimney. Or why the house in Capernaum had London chimneys, for that matter.


Desert island church by John Parker. Contact me via the about page. Text and images copyright © 2014 John Parker www.desertislandchurch.co.uk.