The Church Weekend Away Every two years members of the congregation go on a weekend away together, sharing companionship and teaching. This year, for the first time, the destination was Worthing.
on a Friday afternoon, we all felt excited and apprehensive. We had attended St Mary’s church weekends away since our eldest was 5, he’s now 20! And this was a break from our traditional venue of Bournemouth. Different seaside town, different hotel… how would this compare?
The first plus point was the amazing location, just a stone’s throw from the beach and shops, the hotel faced onto a lovely garden square; this is where the boys played football; players comprised an array of ages from 20 to 7.
A further bonus included the well-equipped games room in the basement, 2 snooker tables, table- tennis, darts, skittles and the most popular item – a pool table, where many games were won and lost.
So with ‘youth interests’ sorted, we were left to enjoy the atmosphere of this pretty Georgian hotel.
A clear memory for me was the beautiful smell of hyacinths as you entered the hotel, each side of the door was adorned with large oblong pots, laden with the fragrant blue flowers – I hope they’re there in 2012.
What an assortment of things to do!
On Sunday, it was time to leave. Did I think it was so different from previous weekends away? Yes, in some ways, but overall I enjoyed once again the great sense of community and friendship, along with the satisfaction of learning and growing in Christian faith, whilst having fun with friends. This all remained the same – no, correction, it was better!
Fuelled by a great breakfast, we were fortunate to spend time with Paul Williams, Bishop of Kensington. His discussions and talks were excellent; his comedy- timing was spot on as well. He set the tone for openness and exploration. The time just flew by.
On Saturday evening, it was great to see a variety of folk on the dance floor and there were indeed some impressive dancers.
Other participants said:
I thoroughly enjoyed the church weekend away, and one of my favourite parts was the way we shared communion.
It feels so intimate to sit in our seats, be passed the sacraments by one’s neighbour and then pass them on to the next person. The process seems to cement the closeness we achieve as a church family during the weekend.
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