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Outdoor Church

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Nov, 2020 11:28 PM

Ahead of second lockdown, our parishes were continuing to take advice on how to interpret government and National Church guidance, and to meet together safely.

Outdoor Church

The Outdoor Church gathering, before second lockdown

Wiltshire's Avon River Team planned carefully and held a Covid-safe all age gathering in a Figheldean churchyard.

Assistant Curate Heather Brearey says:

"On a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon in Figheldean with worship music blasting from the bell tower we launched our first Outdoor Church. Katie and I were leading the event - we met whilst studying at Sarum College. Katie is now a Baptist Pioneer Minister for the Salisbury Plain area, so our event was ecumenical.

"We began talking about doing something outside back in May, and finally it was happening. We are determined to be Eco friendly, so no printed plastic signs from Vista print! We made and painted wooden signs after being gifted some wood.

"Covid-19, of course, added a new dimension to our planning, we prepared bags for each ‘bubble’ a few days before the event. All those attending had to book a place so that we could ensure adequate spacing.

"When the day arrived, we were very ready but not so ready for the torrential rain that soaked our villages in the morning. But our preparation had included a great deal of prayer and God was certainly with us. As I drove into Figheldean the sky was blue, the sun was shining and my heart was singing.

"55 of us scooped out pumpkins and filled them with tea lights. We marvelled at how similar we are to pumpkins - God chooses us, takes away all the yuck inside of us and fills us with the light of Christ that shines for all to see!

"We toasted marshmallows on the fire and searched for pebbles with our names on, because God has called us all by name. We prayed whilst holding conkers, we danced to worship music, and after the final blessing we packed everything up until next time!

"It was amazing and wonderful mission in these tricky times. Why not give it a go when you can?"

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