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'Takeaways' are a huge success

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Sep, 2020 11:39 AM

Many of our parishes have found resourceful and creative ways to overcome the restrictions of lockdown, as they seek to reach their communities, transform lives and spread a message of hope.

Traditionally in the Salisbury Plain Benefice the church community has worked with their Methodist friends to offer activity mornings or Messy Church to the families over the long summer holiday. This year being one like no other, they knew this wouldn’t be possible.

Rector Eleanor Rance explains:

"We decided quite early on that we would hate to lose the link with our families which we’d been sustaining all through lockdown via the schools. To keep the link going, and to relieve the expected boredom of another 6 weeks ‘at home’, we came up with a ‘Takeaway’ plan."

She and her colleague Stéphane Javelle worked with their volunteers and the Methodist community to create a set of 5 themed bags. Bill Ashton, who had just turned 11, helped find recipes and crafts which he thought the younger children would enjoy and then spent hours helping fill the bags.

'Takeaways' are a huge success- Bags for week 1

Older members of the community prepared 30 sets of a craft activity and delivered them in good time to be incorporated safely into the pack. In each week’s bag there were craft activities, recipes, colouring or wordsearch, a themed physical exercise and a reflection activity.

The bags were available to collect once a week, and the team went to 3 different villages to make sure all their parishioners could get involved. They also offered a delivery service for any who were still stuck at home.

Eleanor says:

"We were bowled over by the success of this scheme. It’s been like nothing we’ve done for years. Over the 5 weeks we distributed 150 bags, as well as having 2 geocache adventures created by one of our LWLs, a ‘little box’ competition, and the opportunity in Shrewton to join the local pebble painting movement, Shrewton Rocks.

"The best thing for us was seeing everyone getting involved through a shared WhatsApp group. We’ve promised another pack for half-term and Christmas. And we’ve met nearly all the children due to start in Reception this year."

Families were delighted too. Comments included:

"We’ve loved our Tuesday craft pack days, lovely to have some structure and activities for the holidays."

"It has been the highlight of our week and has eased the time for our daughter when we’ve both been working."

Eleanor adds:

"In all the frustration and challenge of 2020, this experience has been a real joy."

More pictures below.

'Takeaways' are a huge success- Lolly aeroplane designed by Revd Stéphane
Lolly aeroplane designed by Revd Stéphane

'Takeaways' are a huge success- Collection on theme of Nature
Collection on theme of 'Nature'

'Takeaways' are a huge success- Seaside by 3 year old
Seaside diorama by 3-year-old

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