Sunday Club looks at George Tankerfield

Prayer: George Tankerfield took his stand upon the word of scripture, and bravely faced the flames rather than deny his own conscience. Lord. make us strong in the knowledge of your word, and teach us your truth, that we too may be faithful, and never fail you in the time of trial.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Pray for us George Tankerfield, Pray for us, all saints of God.

Info: By the reign of Queen Mary English history there had been lots of arguments and fighting because of religion. The reformation had taken place where Henry VIII had separated the official church in England from following the church in Rome and the Pope. The church in England had gotten rid of a lot of the practices of the Roman Catholic church that they felt was wrong and not in keeping with what Christ taught, and became what is called Protestant. However, now Henry VIII’s first daughter Mary was on the throne, she wanted the church to be reunited with Rome and was against all those who called themselves protestant.

George Tankerfield was a Yorkshire baker and a protestant and is remembered most for standing up for what he believed in and not being afraid of speaking what he believed was the truth. At the time of his arrest, he was working in London.

When questioned he said he didn’t believe in the act of confessing to a priest and that the sacrament of the Eucharist as it was at the time was too full of idolatry and was not in keeping with what Christ intended and that there were only two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, others such as marriage, ordination, confirmation etc were not.

He was taken away from his home and brought to St Albans and killed (burnt) at Romeland at the west end of St Albans Cathedral as an example for other protestant in 1555.

From many of the people who saw him die, they said that they were sorry to see such a godly man burnt, and some praised God for his constancy and perseverance in the truth. Others said it was a shame he stood to such opinions and some shouted against him.

Telling the Truth vs lies

(I found this craft on-line but forgot to make a note where from, please tell me if you know who the original source is so I can credit them)


Play a game of fact or fiction.

Compile a list of fact and fiction questions for your age group. The idea here is simply to get the kids thinking again about true/false, right/wrong. Have them vote, guess, or however you want to structure it. Have fun.


Get the kids to sit in a circle. Spin a bottle in the middle of the circle, whoever it lands on has to say something that is true.

Play until everyone has had a go.

This game is to introduce the theme of telling the truth.


Sometimes it can be difficult telling what is truth today, especially with the internet where anyone can publish whatever they like, people are not always honest, and sometimes people don’t have all the facts to determine if something is truth or not.

  1. What sources of right and wrong could influence someone?
  2. . Which ones are most common today?
  3. How do you determine what you believe?

In the Bible there are over 200 occasions where the ‘truth’ is discussed.

Have a look over and discuss some of these occasions when the truth is talked about, what impact do they have on us?

The Gospel is the Truth – Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5
God wants us to know the Truth – 2 Timothy 2:15
The Church is meant to protect the Truth – 1 Timothy 3:15
Some oppose the Truth – 2 Timothy 3:2-8 (With emphasis on verse 7)
The Truth should change how we live – 1 John 3:18

If you were in the situation of George Tankerfield, would you stand up for what you believe in, or would you have told them what they wanted to hear (maybe with your fingers crossed behind you back)? What people like Tankerfield do is brave and takes more courage than most people have, and that is why they are remembered and why the church gives thanks for them.


One day Emily went fishing with her granddad. Emily had a good time and was especially happy when she caught a fish.

When Emily got home, she went to see her friend Danny. He invited her inside and took her into the kitchen, where he showed her a fish that he had caught. Danny’s fish was much bigger than the fish Emily had caught.

Emily was happy for Danny, but she also felt disappointed. Compared to Danny’s fish, her fish was very small. She didn’t want Danny to know how bad she felt, so she told him that she went fishing with her granddad and caught a fish so big that she and her granddad had to use a net to help pull it in. Emily told Danny that her fish was much bigger than his.


What did Emily do that was wrong?

What should Emily have done?

What does it mean to tell the truth?

Explain that telling the truth is part of being honest. When we tell the truth, we tell about things exactly as they happened. Why is it important to tell the truth? You may want to ask the children to tell about times when they have told the truth.


Tell the truth Glue the sheet to some colourful card and get the kids to break the code. This activity could be used after one of the games or the fishing story. (Again, forgot the original source for this.)

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Minor Canon Youth Chaplain at St Albans Cathedral. Dog owner, historian, technology geek, pilgrim.

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