Sunday School Rules
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Keeping Order 140

Paid Teachers to Volunteers

Original Sunday SchoolInitially, Robert Raikes (1736 - 1811 AD) paid qualified professionals to teach in Sunday school but as the demand grew a volunteer force took over. The first teachers' book of Sunday school rules, was called "A Sunday Scholar's Companion" (Volume 5 1859) introduced basic words, short prayers and some hymns to young eager minds.✞

Reading and Writing

Portrait of William ShakespeareThere were no schools for ordinary people so the children were taught to read and write. The teachers used what books they had at the time like the Bible, the hymn book and the prayer book. As well as these readings they were engaged with books like "Self-Conquest" and "Sketches in Natural History." These study materials included "Insects - their means of defense" and "Sketches of Great Men" highlighting for example the playwright William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616 AD) who lived a good life and died in the faith of the Church of England. ✞

Clean Hands Combed Hair

Singing ChildrenFew rules were laid down for the children in those early days. "All that I require," wrote Robert Raikes, "are clean hands, clean faces and their hair combed," adding, "If you have no clean shirt, come in what you have on." He frowned on cursing and swearing, encouraging kindness and obedience to parents. So began the Sunday school Movement and with it a new voluntary role within the church that survives even to this day, that of the Sunday school teacher.

"Sunday School Rules"
by Ron Meacock © 1982 - 2017

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