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Slithers of Gold

Creative activities and refelections on the themes of guilt, mending and grace; connecting issues in day to day life with Bible stories.


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The Year We Stayed at Home

A Pick and mix resource pack of activities and Bible linked materials for reflecting on our shared experiences of the COVID 19 pandemic, including sections on: -


The full resource pack is to the right. Individual sections are below:-

> The Year We Stayed at Home with Lament
> The Year We Stayed at Home with Gratitude
> The Year We Stayed at Home with Patience
> The Year We Stayed at Home with Kindness
> The Year We Stayed at Home with Hope
> The Year We Stayed at Home with Discernment


Our Unlock Rotherham worker, Carolyn Gower, has created a local version for her own Sheffield and Rotherham communities. To see how you could do that for your area you can download a copy to the right.

Full Resource Pack

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> Stepping Into Hope - Sheffield version

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Unlocking COVID times (this material is included in the pack above).

A graphic journaling activity, suitable for either groups or individuals, to help us review and process our experiences of the 2020 COVID pandemic.

  1. A graphic timeline designed so that people can add their own local and personal stories against the background of national and international events. These sheets need to be printed A2 (which we know not everyone can do 'at home'); so ready printed copies can be requested from the Unock office, (although obviously we'd appreciate donations to cover print and posting costs).
  2. An activity sheet suggesting how the timeline can be used can be downloaded here.

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Unlocking Feelings

Creative activities and reflections on the theme of emotions; connecting the ways we feel in day to day life with stories in the Bible.


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Chatting with the Creator

Making it easy for people to chat with God.

A selection of easy access creative approaches to enabling poeple to explore chatting with God; designed for use in shared spaces with passing footfall. Ways to pray for those who; never have, don't know how, don't think they're good enough, don't do church, have got rusty, can't find the right words, etc.


  • Prayer chain
  • Gladness clouds
  • Lolly stick prayers
  • Prayer Rocks!
  • Put Christmas into God's hands

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Seasonal Community Trails

Resources and approaches for churches to connect with their local communities through seasonal interactive trails.

Create a 'treasure hunt' for eggs, sheep, chicks, donkeys, nativity figures etc, in partnership with local business owners and share the church's seasonal stories beyond the church walls.

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Starter for Ten

Pick and Mix Conversation starter activities

Most Unlock resources are designed for people right on the church fringe and beyond. This one is different. Its aim is to break down barriers between church communities and the communities within which churches are set, by developing listening and conversation skills in fun ways and in relation to faith and community issues.

If you are working with a disconnect between your church and community there might be ideas here to help develop some connections.

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Bible Women Resource Pack

'What shall we do with the Women?'

Activities to accompany the Bible Women banners which are available to borrow from The Unlock offiice by arrangement.

This pack includes the story of how the Bible Women cartoons came about and a range of activites designed to use alongside them which explore the stories of women in the Bible and the place of women in history and in our communities.



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Unlocking The Prodigal (2018 update)

A selection of creative and reflective activities based on Luke 15 originally created for Unlock's 40th Birthday Party in 2012.

Activities are divided into 6 Zones; the Father Zone, the Youger Brother Zone, the Older Brother Zone, the 'Who's Missing' zone, the Pig Zone and a Prayer Zone.

This material can be used for a one-off Bible Activity event, or spread over a series of shorter sessions.

a game of 'pin the tail on the pig'

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Mess, Mistakes, and Muddling Through ( 2009)

Six sessions looking at our experience as parents, and comparing it to messes and mistakes of parents in the Bible using Unlock's reflective cycle.

  1. Even good parents make mistakes
  2. What's in a name
  3. Celebration
  4. New beginnings
  5. Saying it how it is
  6. Family likeness


vintage photgraph of a posed victorian family


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The Heart of the Estate

An illustration of the ways in which 'Unlocking' the Bible has brought life and hope to an urban estate in the North East



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red lineWhat's The Buzz?

Creative material for six sessions connecting issues in everyday life to stories in the Bible including: blessings, time, comfort, difficult choices, forgivennes, & making mistakes.

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red lineKeep Calm and . . . .

Creative material for four sessions on the themes of; celebration, prayer, partying and trust; connecting issues in day-to-day life with Bible stories.

Keep calm and . . .

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Popcorn and Nachos (2014)

Flexible Material for 7-20 session connecting issues in day to day life and Bible stories using contemporary films including:-

  • Regarding Henry
  • The Truman Show
  • Mr Holland's Opus
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • The Life of David Gale
  • Pleasantville

Please note that this resource is not designed for use with children.


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red linePop Goes The Weasel (2013)

Unlock style reflections and activities around the theme of Personal Debt using extracts from:

  • Leviticus
  • Exodus
  • Deuteronomy
  • Isaiah


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red lineGod Finds Us (2013 Update)

A 5 session Advent Course by Roy Dorey

  • The Upside Down God
  • The Past and Present God
  • The God of the Unimportant
  • The God Who Stands up For The Poor
  • The God Who Takes Risks


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red lineThe Veronica Sessions (2013)

A series of active reflections on current issues for young people using contemporary film clips. These were designed for and used with group of 16-19 year olds in Sandwell in the West Midlands.

Issues covered include:

  • Is anybody Listening?
  • Death
  • The sex industry and trafficking
  • Sex
  • Being prepeared and being protected
  • Who is in control?
  • Who am I?
  • Hope
  • Sacrifice
  • Power and manipulation
  • Justice


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red lineStepping Stones (2015 Update)

Stepping Stones is more an approach to facilitating Bible learning than a course. The content is thematic and can be varied. Twelve themes are suggested including: God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, The Church, Prayer, Worship, Justice, Love, Forgiveness, Suffering, Hope, and Death; but you can also add your own.

The material was originally developed by Roy Dorey in London in the 1990s. It has been updated and redesigned in 2015 with support from Karoly Haasz

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The story of a group of men who met for breakfast and discovered discipleship for themselves; including some sample session outlines on conflict and prayer.


cooked English breakfast on a plate

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What Now? (2021)

A 3 session Bible resource, using a range of video clips, for use with smallgroupsbased on experiences of redundancy and unemployment.

  • The Good Old Days
  • What do I Have to Offer?
  • Hope For The Future

Updated in 2021.

unemployed me queued outside a 1930s americam soup kitchen

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red lineNechells Unlocks Christmas (2011)

Three small group sessions for use in the run up to Christmas, exploring the joys and pressures of the season using material from Luke's Gospel.

  • Shop till you drop?
  • Do you really like Christmas?
  • What is Christmas really about?




urban rooftops and gas containers at sunset

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Unwrapping Christmas

A pick and mix resource pack. Some of the activities are suitable for
all ages together, some are aimed at children and some at adults. A key indicates which are which.

They are designed for use in church services, home groups, families, neighourhood parties, messy church, or children's holiday clubs.

Co-produced with CURBS in 2001.


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Mary's Moments (2010)

(A journey from relationship to discipleship)

The true story of a group of Urban Mums, their lives, and how they connect with the Bible.




tea bag with string and paper label

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Easter in St Jude's (2011)

Four small-group sessions linked to Lent and Holy week themes.

  • Lent
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • New Hope




tress just busting into leaf viewed from below against a blue sky

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Mind Over Matter (2011)

Five stand-alone small-group sessions exploring contemporary social issues and connecting them with stories from the Bible.

  • Bullying
  • Fame
  • Healthy Eating
  • It's Raining
  • Weddings

These sessions were designed and used with a local MIND group.



man using an ironing board on a high cliff edge

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Unlocking Baptism Preparation (2010)

Suggestions and sessions that apply Unlock's relational, learner centred method of Bible Engagement to Baptism Preparations.

Includes sessions on the following themes:-

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow (promises)
  • Shine a Light
  • Blessing
  • Clean as a Whistle
  • Belonging
  • Water
  • Taking a Stand

Plus discussion starters, and creative approaches to other aspects of Baptism preparation.




sunlight on water ripples

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Sausages and Stories (2011)

Five stand-alone small-group sessions explroing topical news stories and connecting them with stories from the Bible.

  • Bully Brown?
  • Good News
  • When your world is shaken
  • Hope when all hope is gone
  • Good Samaritan


cooked sausages

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Cooking The Book (2009)

A Bible overview with a difference!

In each session a recipe provides the framework as participants explore their life experiences and connect them with God's story.

  1. Something from Nothing (Creation)
  2. Tricky (The Fall)
  3. Doing what we want (Judgement)
  4. Unwanted Gift (Jesus' Birth)
  5. Once Upon a time (Parables)
  6. It's a Miracle (Miracles)
  7. It's not Fair (Jesus' Trial and Crucifixion)
  8. Nonsense (Jesus' Resurrection)
  9. Down to us (Pentecost and Early Church)
  10. Perfect Party (Heaven)



a pan full of boiling water


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Unhingeing Hospitality (2009)

Six group sessions around the theme of hospitality in real lives and in the Biblical tradition.

  1. Introduction
  2. Ancient stories of hospitality
  3. New Testament stories of hospitality
  4. Hospitality as social action
  5. Hospitality as celebration
  6. Hospitality as mission

The material uses a range of visual, film, drama, and music resources to explore the Biblical theme of hospitality.


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a man opening a door

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Crucible (2009)

Four sessions for use with small groups, based on the history of Steelmaking in Sheffield, with Bible extracts and additional resource and activity suggestions.

  1. The Scrap Heap
  2. The Melting Shop
  3. Ladling, Teaming and Casting Aside
  4. Rolling, Forging and Hammering; Shaping and Strengthening

molten gold in a crucible

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In Y'r Dreams Man

Six discussions based on the film Billy Elliot... sharing stories and reflecting together on the story of Jacob in the Bible.

    1. Wolf In Sheep's clothes

    2. Life is what you make it

    3. Nowhere to hide

    4. A Father's love for his son

    5. Sturggling with y'r dreams

    6. Ever had a dream come true?

In Your Dreams Man
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Good News

These four Bible studies help a group look at how the Good News of the Kingdom of God was offered in the New Testament, and compare this with how they offer it:

    1: The offer of Jesus 'Follow me'
    2: The offer of Jesus 'Repent of your sins'
    3: The offer of Jesus 'Life more abundantly'
    4: The works of the kingdom

Good News
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Experience The Bible

Nine Bible studies for use with small groups. All based on Gospel stories and parables and linked to everyday experiences.

    1: The neighbour
    2: The casual labourers
    3: The lost sheep
    4: The lost son

    5: The sower

    6: Seventy Times Seven

    7: Jesus and Zacchaeus

    8: Jesus and the woman at the well

    9: family and friends

title, experience the bible, image, s small group of people sharing tea and biscuits

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Living With The Miracle Maker

This pack helps you get under the skin of some of the characters as they met Jesus, not just the ones who get noticed a lot, but also some who are a bit more in the background.
The cartoons are designed to encourage small groups to talk about their own stories of life, and then compare them with the story of Jesus

We can imagine the pack being used with small groups of people, and with families at home.

It could provide:-

  • An introduction to the Christian faith for those who prefer to watch a video, rather than read a book.
  • An opportunity for Christians to again encounter the living Christ.


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Miracle Maker

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Unlocking the Bible (2009)

A resource devised by Roy Dorey


  1. Beginning as a Christian 
  2. Themes from the Bible 
  3. What it felt like to be there
  4.  Re-writing the Parables
  5. How I learn best 

  6. What the Church looks like to those outside it 

  7. Questions you would like to ask Jesus


four stick men holding a giant key





Miracle Maker

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Go For It!

We’ve chosen to use The Full Monty film to kick off discussions which lead towards the Bible because:

We believe the film portrays realistically the values and culture of some city communities and people.

The film has evidently gained a lot of response from people all around the UK and internationally.

People in the inner cities and housing estates easily identify with

Our hope is that this pack will help the conversations continue, and as people in the church and on the edge of it continue to grapple with the issues the film symbolises, they will discover more of the relevance of the Bible today.

Miracle Maker

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Hosea (2010 update)

This 5 session resource by Roger Dowley shows the modern relevance of an ancient scripture. Hosea's wife left him, but God didn't.

     1: What God wants from us

     2: Constant love

     3:  Hosea’s marriage

     4:  Hosea’s children

     5:  Hosea’s heart


  • “Knowing God” or just “knowing about God”.
  • Pictures of the “constant love” of God -from Hosea, elsewhere in the Bible and in our own experience.
  • God’s “wedding presents”.
  • What do names matter?
  • God the loving parent - “I held him to my cheek, I bent down and fed him"


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icon of hosea

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Unlock Taster Sessions

These are single sessions or activities, some shorter and some longer that can be used if you just want to try out Unlock approaches.

> Little Things Mean a Lot >> The impact of small acts of kindness.
> Screwing Things up >>
How God responds when we get things wrong.
> Keep Calm and Trust >> Who or what can we believe in?
> Brokenness >> Exploring our own stories of brokenness and God's response
> My Rock >> Who are the rocks in our lives?
> Remembrance >> Considering stories of people who have risked their lives for others.
> Persistence >> Thinking about how we get we need, especially from the point of view of women.
> Thanksgiving >> Thinking about thankfullness and what difference it makes.
> Valued >> Reflecting on issues of domestic violence.
> The Kiss >>
An exploration of intimacy in our own lives and in the Bible
> Heart >> 
Video inspired by Psalm 51.
> Bulding your Community >>  Creative activities to reflect on where God is already at work in your local context.
> Pass the parcel >> A game to help people make links between their own story and God's big story.
> I don't believe it! >> Victor Meldrew and Castor Semenya help us explore offense and possible responses to it.
> It's in the bag >> Another game to help people make links between their own story and God's big story.
> Making Connections >> Reflecting on our emotional responses in the light of scripture.
> Something from Nothing >> Looking at Creation and how that is relevant to our lives today.

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Unlock Walk Workshops

> Welcome - Activity pack for 'STAY AT HOME' London Walk (2020) >>
Links for playlists for above:

Short Interactive Unlock sessions are available for Unlock Walkers each year. Below are some of the activities we have used.

> Labyrinth Walk Workshop (2023) >>
> Homelesness Walk Workshop (2017) >>

> Running the Race Walk Workshop (2016) >>
> Running the Race Slideshow (2016) >>

> Peter the Rock (2015) >>
> Bishop Peter Hall slideshow (2015) >>
> St Peter Posters (2015) >>

> Hospitality (2013) >>
> Out in The Cold (2012) >>
> Olympics - winning and losing ( 2010) >>
> Bricks Buildings and Big Hearts - Nehemiah (2009) >>
> Brick Template (2009) >>
> Favourite Bible Characters (2008) >>
> Labyrinth (2006) >>

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From our Unlock Resources Archive

Unlock resources have been produced for several decades now. Some of our older resources still have some useful ideas within them, and we still receive requests for them, even though their presentation is now dated. Some of these are available here as scanned Pdfs. (We aplogise for the poor visual quality of these documents.)

> Into The City With Nehemiah >> 

6 sessions on the theme of hope by Dave Cave & Jim Hart from 1985.

> We'll Manage it >> 

7 True life stories to help Christians manage Church activities better, by Jenny Richardson based on 'Managing or Muddling Through' by Jim Hart.

> Pick and Mix >>

3 different outlines of Unlock Sessions; 'Roots and Shoots', 'Spotlight on Choices' and 'Stepping Stones' by Roy Dorey.

> God Finds Us >>

A 5 session Advent resource by Roy Dorey.(An apdated version of this resource is available above.)
> Peace in the City >>
6 sessions looking at the last days of Jesus' earthly life.
> A Long Week >>
5 Easter preparations sessions
> Jonah >>
5 sessions exploring the story of Jonah
> New Life Game >>
A Board gane which explores the journey people take on the way to Christian Commitment.
> Christians Caring >>
Ten sessions on Pastoral Care
and relationships. An original EUTP Pastoral Care course by Jim Hart and Val Black.

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Inspiration from Unlock Hull.

Unlock Hull developed a creative Unlock workshop day in response to the devastating flooding of large parts of the city in the summer of 2007. The details are here, both for inspiration, and for you to adapt to the needs and issues of your own time and place.

> Unforgotten Hull - workshop outline>>

> Unforgotten Hull - creative techniques >>

Resources developed by Unlock Glasgow

Unlock Glasgow was supported by the Scotish Bible Societybetween 2007 and 2012.

Some of the resources it developed are here and you are welcome to use them if they work for you, or draw inspiration from them.

  • Who Won Gold? >>
    A resource developed by Unlock Glasgow linked to the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Decision Time >>
    A resource developed by Unlock Glasgow in response to the General Election in May 2010.

  • God's Prodigal Son(s) >>
    3 sessions on crimes. Various Bible extracts and black-and-white pictures will facilitate discussions on why and how people break rules, which people we think are more likely to commit crimes and how God relates to “criminals” in some Bible stories.
  • The City Was Large and Spacious >>
    A 5 part introduction to the book of Nehemiah through reflections on photographs taken in Urban Priority Areas in Glasgow.
  • 3 sessions on symbols and cultural traditions at Easter, and if we can find new ways to describe the events of Easter story.

  • 5 sessions on conflicting human emotions, while looking at some Bible stories and discussing which emotions might have been present there… 

  • Holy Smoke >>
    An outline for a single 2 hour activity session exploring the theme of violence
  • Masterpiece Masterclass >>
    A resource for creating generative themes and building relationships within a group.



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celerbration, prayer, partying and Creative materials for four sessions on the themes of red line