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Friday 3 to Sunday 5 October 2003

Parish Weekend at Sidmouth

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Sidmouth 2003 by Marion Beagley

I went to a meeting last year in the spring,
the question was asked, “Are we doing anything
for the people of the parish, to make them belong
to the church, as a family, to make us feel strong?”

The answer came clear, “What about a weekend
away at the seaside – our fences to mend?”.
So I got the job of arranging the event
and we came and we conquered – whatever was sent-
in the way of an obstacle -  little or large
and I took the money – though Bill was in charge.

 
To find beds for all was quite hard to achieve
and I hoped that we’d be tempted to really believe
that our partners would turn out to be the right ones
be it husbands and wives or daughters and sons.

Should the coach to travel down on be large or be small?
Or should we all drive there or not go at all?
But in the event it turned out alright
and we all settled in to sample our first night.

We met Father Martin, from Walsingham fair
he was wonderful and amusing, though he hadn’t much hair.
He got us all doing things, we never would
do normally -  grouping us -  just as we should.
And we talked to each other even if we didn’t know
our new partners names, as we went too and fro.
Fr Martin Warner
Our sessions were attended by many each time
and we learnt about ourselves, doing drama and mime.
We had music workshops and worshipped in style,
we even had a birthday cake for dear Barbara Lyle.
The children were busy with paper and glue
and created a theatre – you know how you do!
They coloured and crayoned and learned of St Francis,
but we didn’t have time to do any dances.
We had entertainment, with talent galore,
which left all the audience calling for more.
Magic tricks and poems and even some singing,
some funny, some serious, the music hall ringing.
The clergy dressed up for a panto – quite light
and Cinderella’s catch phrase was……“ alright”.
She sported a beard and a wig made of curls
and each of the clergy became panto girls.
Monologues and teamwork and juggling of balls
and King John’s Christmas provoked some cat calls.
But we laughed and we chatted – just as we had hoped
and the youngest to the oldest magnificently coped.
The services were special – quite different from home
we had Compline and the Eucharist, to which many did come.
We even got up for 7.30 prayers,
you’ve heard the expression that he who dares
will shift mountains or was it molehills? – my memory impairs.
Oh, of course, I remember – we all shifted chairs.
And we ate so much food, but we didn’t drink wine,
it was nice to stay sober for such a long time.
We swam and we walked, or we sat in the garden
and enjoyed each other’s company – or begged each other’s pardon.

And then it was over – the weekend was done,
and we said our goodbyes – in the wonderful sun,
which had stayed with us all for the whole of our stay,
and we cried and we laughed as we all went our way.

Shall we do it again? -  we all asked as we went
so a form was sent out to see how people leant.
The outcome was – “ yes”  – it had worked – we were one
in the name of the Father, the Spirit, the Son.

In fellowship and prayer,  as a family should be,
a successful event for two thousand and three.
And if you missed out – we graciously implore,
that you put your name down for two thousand and four.



 

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The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Nicolas Prestbury Cheltenham - Registered Charity No 1130933

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