It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though it was Saturday 26th November. Our church All Saints West Dulwich had been invited to have a stall at the West Dulwich Christmas Fair. Having already has a stall in the spring fair in aid of Christian Aid, this was warmly welcomed. Spearheaded by Ethan Glackin-McColgan Lay Pioneer in training, we discussed the importance of having children’s activities, being visible and promoting the church. So along with church banner, small children’s table and chairs, our church Christmas cards and other leaflets we were ready for the day. Ethan and I were joined throughout the day by the Vicar Alan Everett and curate Cathy Wiles, along with other members of the congregation, young and old. We was also joined by our local MP Helen Hayes
Our main focus was to engage with our local community and having the children’s activities definitely drew them in. It was great to be able to provide some fun time for the children and possible brief quiet time for the parents, enabling conversations with others. The children’s activities consisted of a tote bag to decorate, Christmas trees were definitely the common theme.
Wooden Christmas decorations, Christmas cards and bookmarks all to colour.
All children went away with a tote bag, whether decorated or not. Included in the bag was some more Advent material and our church Christmas card. The children also got to take a small gift from the gift bag.
It was great to see so many people from around the community and to speak to everyone passing by. Love West Dulwich is a great community spirited group and the Christmas Fair had stalls ranging from selling locally sourced produce, fine arts and crafts and street food. Fantastic family friendly activities all day, with all the local shops being fully involved. It was very special to be part of this Christmas event.
Ethan and I were there from 11am to 3pm and full engagement was had by the children and also the parents. A great stop gap, provided the space to chill, chat and colour. It was really good to see familiar faces from around the parish and to also have great conversations with many new faces.
As a SPA I work with the Children and Young Families at church and volunteer at an after school club BTT (Between the Tracks) for one of our church sponsored charities 4ALL.
Providing support and outreach to all our children is paramount to my ministry. Focusing on supporting the children at church and within the parish is felt very strongly by our team of volunteers, who provide that support though Junior Church on a Sunday morning and Small Saints (toddler group) on a Friday morning. It may be being part of our junior choir. Also being able to open our church to the local schools for their Religious Studies. Being part of Love West Dulwich enables us to promote these facilities and other events held at the church.
As Ethan continues with his Lay Pioneer training I feel that we will have many events and adventures in the future as a Lay Ministry double act.
Find out more about Lay Ministries in the Diocese of Southwark at southwark.anglican.org/exploring-your-call/lay-ministries.