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 “Oh no, not another one!” Esther put her head in her hands as her friend disappeared into the Oxfam shop. 

“Come shopping with me,” Chelsea had said. “It’ll be fun,” Chelsea had said. “We’ll try on clothes, get milkshakes and test   out some make-up,” Chelsea had said. Well, they’d been in town   for an hour, and they had yet to try on a single dress or test one lip gloss. 

Esther trailed into the shop and looked around to see if she could spot Chelsea. She eventually found her friend scrabbling around in an old travelling chest. Chelsea emerged with a massive grin and pulled Esther over to a quiet spot in the shop beside the men’s ties and shoes. 

“You won’t believe what I’ve found,” whispered Chelsea. “Oh, I can’t guess, Chelsea. Please do tell me what you’ve 

found. I can hardly wait,” replied Esther loudly. And sarcastically. “Shhh! Not so loud!” Chelsea looked around her to see if 

anyone had heard, but there was only the old lady on the till, and she was busy pricing up some recently donated cardigans. 

“You know how much I love big chunky jewellery, don’t you?” Chelsea rattled the enormous necklace she was wearing so vigorously that the fake diamonds almost hit Esther in the face. 

“Of course. We’ve spent the last hour browsing every charity shop in Manchesterford.” 

“Well, I’ve only gone and found something amazing. My gran showed me a photo of this necklace a few weeks ago. She said it was owned by Miss Babs, a famous local antiques dealer from the last century. It was lost when her cleaner deep-fried it by accident, thinking it was an onion bhaji. Guess what? It’s in that trunk over there. It has to be genuine. There’s fried batter in the chain and everything!” 

Esther and Chelsea looked at the label on the travelling trunk. “Trunk and contents: £100.” 

“Where are you going to get £100 from?” 

“Well, I’m going to see if the old lady on the till will keep it until tomorrow for me, and then I’ll take my whole jewellery collection   to the antiques shop down the road. I reckon that money, together with what I got for my birthday, will be enough to buy the trunk. 

That necklace has to be worth five times as much! And it’s so much better than all the stuff I’ve already got!” 



  • What do you think of Chelsea’s plan? 
  • Is it honest to buy the chest without telling the charity shop what is in it? Why? Why not? 
  • What would you do in the same situation? 


This story is based on Matthew 13:44. Read the passage to the group and compare Jesus’ story and words with this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying through his parable, encour- aging the group to think about it in a new way. In October 2018 we explored the companion parable about the pearl (Matthew 13:45).  If you still have it, compare the stories together. 

Supporting documents

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