Part 8 - Tough Teaching

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Copyright © 1999, 2003 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:



Capernaum Street grew out of our desire to write our own "soap opera"-style series of sketches which would be based on a UK soap opera (in order to feel familiar and engage people) and have cliff-hanger endings (to encourage people to come back for "next week's exciting episode"). 

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 continues the idea of Peter "coming home from work" but emphasising the fact that he is often away for long periods with Jesus. It also is trying to get the message across that following Jesus is not always plain-sailing and some of Jesus' teaching was hard to grasp. Based on John 6:25-60.

Note: the Part numbers refer to the order the sketches were written in and not necessarily the order of events in Peter's life. Particularly true in this instance as Part 9 precedes this one chronologically.



  • Peter, apostle of Jesus.
  • Elizabeth, his wife.

Peter should be dressed to suggest "fisherman". (E.g. wellies, big woolly jumper, water-proof jacket, etc.) 
Elizabeth is a house-proud housewife and should be wearing a house-coat, have her hair in a scarf and have a duster to wave around for emphasis. 


The scene is the kitchen in Peter and Elizabeth's house. You can get away with just a table and at least one chair. 

We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches: 

  • The characters are always dressed the same in every sketch (see above).
  • For each performance we project the Capernaum St. sign (illustrated above) on an OHP.
  • We use, what turned out to be, a very successful device for indicating the start and end of each sketch: the Theme Tune. We both play the first few bars of the theme tune to Coronation Street on kazoos.


[Theme tune]
Peter:  Hiya luv! 
Elizabeth:  You're back then? I thought you'd be home early what with you actually being in Capernaum for once!!!
Peter:  Aye, sorry I'm late but things got a bit hairy down at the synagogue.
Elizabeth:  Oh, Jesus was preaching then.
Peter:  Yep. Oh dear .... my head hurts
Elizabeth:  Your head - did it turn nasty?
Peter:  No - its just that sometimes Jesus does my head in. He says some right difficult things sometimes. Feels like my head's going to explode
Elizabeth:  Oh and I just washed the kitchen floor....
Peter:  ...Eh?
Elizabeth:  [not wishing to explain the joke] Never mind. Tell me what happened....
Peter:  Well Jesus was talking about him being the bread of life, the living bread what's come down from heaven.
Elizabeth:  Yes, you mean like the manna that came down from heaven when Moses was leading the people to the Promised Land?
Peter:  How did you know that? By, that's exactly what Jesus said? You're not daft are you lass!
Elizabeth:  You noticed then!!!!
Peter:  Anyway, Jesus then said you have to eat this bread from heaven - you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood he said.
Elizabeth:  Eeeeuuoooowwhhh!!!!! That’s disgusting!!! That nice man Jesus said that?? Ugh! That's horrible that is. He said that. Oh disgusting there ought to be a law against it. There is a law against it, I'm sure!! Wait til I tell Martha next door she'll be disgusted. Disgusted!!
Peter:  Alright, Liz, alright, calm down. That's exactly the reaction that he got from everyone at the synagogue.
Elizabeth:  Quite right too he should listen to them.  I'm not sure you should see that Jesus anymore Peter.
Peter:  Where else can I go? He's from God you know Liz - he's come down from heaven and he's got the words of eternal life - don't you see?
Elizabeth:  I'm not happy about this, Peter.
Peter:  Look Liz, he didn't mean literally. It's not like we’re going to kill him or owt....
Elizabeth:  I SHOULD THINK NOT!!!
Peter:  Will you listen for a minute? Jesus meant it [saying this slowly like remembering it carefully] sym-bol-i-cally. He meant that we need him to have eternal life just like we need your home-bake for this life. He meant that he is the only way to God.
Elizabeth:  Well, maybe he should stick to healing people and feeding them with real bread like he did a few weeks ago.
Peter:  That's what some of the others think. They were as keen as mustard yesterday but now they're  talking about giving up. In fact some of them left today. I think things might get a lot harder from now on Liz.
Elizabeth:  He certainly doesn't make it easy for people. Look, you've got to do what you think's right, luv.  And right now I think the best thing to do is have a nice cuppa to take your mind of things.
Peter:  That would be grand. 
[Theme tune]

Copyright © 1999, 2003 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:

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