Clare Churches’ Together Holiday Club 2016 – Landlubbers
What a week it’s been! The Baptist Church was transformed into a desert island (of sorts) as we joined in with games, activities, songs and lots of silliness, mostly on a pirate theme. Using the story of Paul and his letter to the Philippians as a backdrop, we searched for treasure, made telescopes, lighthouses and rafts, decorated treasure boxes, drew treasure maps, told dreadful jokes and gained new friends.
Each of the four crews entered fully into the spirit of the pirate theme, with many pirate costumes and crew-coloured outfits gaining loads of team points. Points were also awarded for excellent behaviour, friendliness and attitudes and (again) dreadful jokes, taking the total for the week to well in excess of 2,000 points across all four crews! Rev Paul Graham took to the stage as Captain Yo-ho, leading the group times through a combination of enthusiasm, energy and the ability to award crew points for the most spurious of reasons.
Through the week, we heard stories of Paul’s life, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, Paul and Silas’s adventures in prison and (less obviously) the hare and the tortoise. Ably told by Colin Barrable, Peter Dawkins, Helen Stanbury and Jacqui Jennings, the stories gave hints that led us around our treasure map, finally revealing that the treasure was to be found in our memory verse for the week, Philippians 3:8: Paul said,
Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as rubbish. All I want is Christ.
Supported by Rev Stuart Mitchell on the technical apparatus and accompanied by Chris Grist on the piano, the singing was loud and hearty as together we learned the Landlubbers song through the week and sang other, more familiar songs. Many a time could be heard the oft-used piratical ah-ooo through the week and expect to hear it again if you happen to bump into a member of the Red, Green, Yellow or Blue Crews in the future. The Crew Leaders and assistants, drawn from both the Parish Church and the Baptist Church were invaluable in getting to know their crews, encouraging them to try new things, supporting, singing and generally being fantastic. Everyone who helped, from the crossword-toting Registration Desk to the manna from heaven of The Galley Crew, made this year’s Holiday Club a special time for all involved.
We finished the week with a celebration service in the Parish Church on the Sunday afternoon, followed by a picnic in the church. Along with retelling the stories and singing the songs from the week, a highlight that will live long in the memory was the sight of the whole congregation, irrespective of age, joining in with the exercises that had formed part of the daily routine through the week. Zorba the Greek will forever be remembered with mixed emotions, particularly by those who found the increased pace of the song a bit much as they rowed the boat, climbed the rigging and scrubbed the deck. With Rev Wilf Stanbury doing some magic and the chance for both ministers to dress up again as pirates, the service provided a fitting end to this year’s fun.
Holiday Club will be back next year, but in what form we shall all have to wait and see…