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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Big Picnic at Rodbourne Cheney

Thanks to Shirley of Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church in Swindon who sent us this report:

Many people from the Rodbourne Cheney and Moredon areas of Swindon enjoyed the Big Picnic on Saturday 31st May – and the weather was good! (Despite a few rain showers in the week before).
This was organised by the three Rodbourne churches: St Andrew’s Methodist, St Mary’s C of E and Rodbourne Cheney Baptist Church.

Initially we were inspired by the Eden Project’s Big Picnic but we also wanted to do a follow up to our successful Community Day of 2013. We serve a God who made us to be communal so we love doing these events. A recent survey has said that the UK is one of the loneliest places to live and yet there are so many people living near to each other. (Even today the news reported a man found dead in a flat in London who may have been there for 2 years – that is tragic).
There was a peaceful but excited atmosphere throughout the whole day and it gradually became busy. There was time to chat as people ate their picnics and we are grateful to the ones who supplied and organised the stalls. Hopefully all the people on stalls would like to be part of the event next year. Many people have already signed up to help.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Clare Green of Welton Baptist Church sent us this story about their local ecumenical Pentecost event, Whitfunday, on Sunday 8th June 2014:

Celebrating the birth of the church, with local area churches, working together to provide a fun, FREE, family event. 
 This is the main vision of the Whitfunday event, which is now in it’s 10th year. 

This event is made possible by the fundraising events we organise throughout the year. A quiz night, pancake evening, skittles night and a lunch were all held to contribute towards the costs of the Whitfunday event, as well as kind donations from various local churches and individuals. Each year we are blessed to always just have enough to cover the cost of the event. Activates are booked in advance, by faith, with no budget and is always such an act of trust. 

Our prayers were answered with the weather and as a group of us arrived to set up, we were blessed with a flyover from the Red Arrows!! It certainly lifted our spirits and set the scene for the day. One by one, the event activities and entertainment arrived and set up seemed to go very smoothly. Flower arrangements were arriving, where each church volunteered to bring an arrangement that represented the Pentecost theme. What an awesome sight! 

The prayer tent had a theme of Travelling with God where you went on a journey, leaving baggage along the way to reach an ultimate destination. 

Not to mention the things to keep the kids entertained. Inflatable assault course, miniature steam train, which seemed to be a firm favourite, climbing wall where one of the Ministers managed to climb to the top, craft, face painting, hair curling, biscuit decorating - it was a hive of activity! 

 Not to mention the special guest, Duggie Dug Dug, a well know entertainer/evangelist with a heart to see children saved. His variety of juggling workshops, illusions and action songs during the Praise Party certainly drew a crowd and got everyone participating. 

 The event is well know for its abundance of food and this year was no exception. All the churches provide sandwiches, cakes and savoury snacks enough to feed more than 800 guests. This was enjoyed as we listened to the South West Division of the Salvation Army Band who were 25 strong. The whole event was a joy and a blessing both to those who helped to plan it and those who came to enjoy it. It really does demonstrate the generosity and love God shares to ALL and our prayer is that seeds have been sown and that will draw people to know and love the Lord for themselves.