Then one of the series we were doing in our Family Services was on the life of Peter. As Peter was a "Northerner" (as far as those in Judea were concerned) we decided to write a series tenuously based on Coronation Street. As Peter lived in Capernaum, the title of Capernaum Street wasn't too difficult to come up with! We were then faced with the constraints familiar to many church drama groups - a lack of resources and a Hollywood special effects budget. These seem necessary given the miracles Peter witnessed. Then we had the idea - what if Peter "came home from work", as it were, from his "day job" as a disciple of Jesus to relay all his experiences to his wife Elizabeth (OK we made up the Elizabeth bit but we know Peter had a wife because he had a mother-in-law - see Mark 1:30). This would mean only two people were required and no special effects!
Capernaum Street was born and the format has remained the same since. Each episode Peter returns from his day with Jesus to recount everything that's happened to Elizabeth in an "up-North"-kitchen-sink-type-Coronation-Street style.
This sketch was originally written to be part of a longer
series to fit between Part 10 - Pentecost and a
new version of Part 7 - Raising Tabitha. The
original setting for the sketch was an all-age service and so we wanted
to actively get the children involved in the story. Hence the
idea to re-work the sketch format into including the
The service was also a baptismal service - hence the reference to the
"hot-tub". The service leader (our good friend Dave Godfrey) interviewed Mark
in character as Peter within the sketch. The sketch also relies on the
fact that saying "look" in a Lancashire accent sounds like "luke".
Peter should be dressed to suggest "fisherman". (E.g. wellies,
woolly jumper, water-proof jacket, etc.)
We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches:
Peter: Hiya Luv. I'm home!
Elizabeth: Peter! You're home. It's great to see you!
Peter: Sorry I'm late – I had a bit of trouble with the temple …. [Startled when he sees everyone] Woah!
Elizabeth: [acting as if nothing unusual has happened] What’s up?
Peter: Liz? Why are there hundreds of people in our lounge?
Elizabeth: Well – you always come home with such interesting stories that I thought I'd invite everyone around.
Peter: And since when have we had a hot-tub!!!? [pointing to baptistry]
Elizabeth: You can have a go in there later dear. Now say hello to everyone
Peter: Er…[evidently bamboozled] hello everyone [starts staring at the ceiling]
Elizabeth: Peter –now what are you staring at?
Peter: The ceiling. The last time I was in a house this full someone knocked a hole int'roof….
Elizabeth: Now Peter stop being silly. So haven't you got an exciting story to tell us – everyone's here to hear it?
Peter: What? Story? Oh yes. Yes! Of course! Yes I’ve got a fantastic story to tell you!
Elizabeth: I knew you would. [pointing to someone random in the congregation] You see Martha told you!
Peter: Alright Liz. Anyway yes let me tell you all about what happened today. In fact I've got a better idea - rather than just tell you I'll get people to help me act it out.
Right now today John and I went to the temple to pray. [To the congregation] Who's going to be John for me? [Get a John from the congregation]
We went into town through the Beautiful Gate.
Elizabeth: Oh I know just the people [she selects a pair and gets them to stand as the gate]
Peter: [Speaking to the "gate"] Now you'll have to look Beautiful. I know it'll take all your acting skills but try your best for me.
There was a beggar by the gate. I need a little beggar? Who would like to be the beggar? [selects beggar] Now he was begging becausse he was lame his legs didn't work so he needed his friends to carry him there [select friends who bring lame beggar on-stage to the gate].
Right. [To the beggar] You just need to do whatever I say you do OK?
So - me and John were on our way to the temple to pray. When we get to the Beautiful Gate this beggar said to us: “Spare any change sir?”. [Beggar repeats]
Elizabeth: Well that was a waste of time. You never carry any cash!
Peter: Yes. Thank you Liz. It just so happens that on this occasion I didn't have any money. And neither did John. I looked at John. And he looked at me. And I knew what he were thinking. And he knew that I knew what I were thinking and … oh I’m not starting that again.. We were thinking: What would Jesus do? So we both looked straight at the beggar and I said to him, Look!
And he said, "No my name’s Charlie." [Beggar repeats]
Right Ok Charlie says I. I haven't got any money. But want I have got I'm very happy to give you. In the name of Jesus Christ – walk!
And up he jumped [beggar just needs to copy each action described by Peter]
Then he swayed a bit.
Found his balance.
Then he shouted Yippee.
And he started walking,
And doing star-jumps.
And double back-flips with a somersault. [to beggar] No don't try that one lad. [to everyone] He was just so happy!
Elizabeth: I should say! Peter that's wonderful
Peter: I know – then everyone rushed forward to see what was happening [looks at congregation who presumably stay firmly in their seats]. I said everyone rushed forward.... oh never mind ... Suit yourselves.
The important thing was I got the chance to tell everyone about Jesus and that it was Jesus who had healed the man.
Elizabeth: I thought you healed him Peter?
Peter: No. Well yes…but not really. Really it was Jesus. It was like I said to you before being filled with the Holy Spirit means you have the power of Jesus living in you – so that you can do what he would've done. It sort of means Jesus can be in lots of places at once. I think. Anyway that's what happened ... [to helpers] thank you everyone you can go and sit down.
Dave: Excuse me…
Peter: Who are you? And what are you doing in my kitchen?
Dave: Er…that's a bit complicated. Can I ask you a couple questions…
[Ad libbed interview with Peter (to focus on having faith)]
Dave: Well thank you.
Elizabeth: Now that you two have stopped gassing. Can I get the kettle on I'm dying for a cuppa and I've got a roomful of guests to serve.
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