On Tuesday, October 27th, 100+ people came out to a community festival in Purley where they played games, sang songs, and participated in all sorts of other activities on an unusually pleasant Autumn day. The festival was put on by Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church and attracted many local families and individuals.
In addition to the people at Old Lodge Lane Church, others who helped make the event a success were the team from Engage 2015 and a team from YWAM France. The YWAM team engaged in activities ranging from face-painting to dancing the hokey-cokey. The Engage 2015 team was involved in running the touch rugby, with Engage’s mascot Judah making an appearance.
The event was a success and many locals intended to come out to future events put on by the church. Old Lodge Lane’s pastor Nick said, “It’s been so much fun. The community really appreciates stuff like this going on.”
Many of the attendees were not regular church goers, and a bonfire was put on later in the evening with food and performances from the YWAM team. All of it was made possible when the people of Old Lodge Lane decided to put on a festival of fun and games and invite the community to take part in it.
Marty Woods, European Director of Fusion Youth and Community, offered his thoughts on the opportunity that the Rugby World Cup has offered churches, “We’ve been running festivals to try and help the church make the most of this incredible opportunity, We just want the church to be at the heart of the celebration.”
Many churches across the UK have used festivals like this to reach out to their local communities in a way that is both fun and accessible to people of all walks of life. These events have been an effective way of building relationships between the church and local community. Hopefully these new relationships lead to a greater relationship – a relationship with Jesus.