St Mary's has a strong history of running Summer Holiday Clubs. Each year we host over a hundred chidlren for an extended morning of fun, exploring the Christian faith through games, crafts, songs and stories.
Holiday Club - 2016
This year our club was based on "A Whale of a Tale!"
‘The Great Escape’ Holiday Club 2015
The congregation arrived at the Opening Service and entered into the world of Ancient Egypt, with the building transformed with props including palm tree pillars, pyramids and a sphinx. Philip entered fully into the spirit of Holiday Club, adopting the persona of Pharaoh for the week, demanding adoration and respect from his subjects whilst grudgingly acknowledging their increasing competence during the various activities. We heard the first part of Moses’ story, how as a baby he was protected by God and rescued from the Egyptian soldiers and the River Nile. During the week Philip and Katie used the DreamWorks film ‘Prince of Egypt’ to explain Moses’ life, looking at his encounter with God through the burning bush, the plagues sent upon Egypt, the Israelites escape through the Red Sea and receiving God’s guidance through the Ten Commandments, using these stories to make relevant connections with the children’s’ lives today.
100 primary-aged children arrived each day to activities including sweetie prayer bracelets, scratch-art door-hangers and bookmarks before launching into an action-packed morning with an energetic warm-up to ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ led by Katie. Competition was fierce but friendly as the four teams competed in a lively team game – ‘Plague of Frogs’, listened to Pharaoh’s Facts and answered questions on them and the Bible story during the daily quiz with a member of the losing team completing a messy forfeit. The children were keen to demonstrate their recall of the daily Bible memory verses and to ‘feed’ the mummy post-box with their Egyptian-themed jokes.
As always, the worship was a key element of the week, led skilfully by Lynsey who combined Holiday Club favourites ‘You are a Star’, ‘F.R.O.G’ and ‘Celebrate God’ with the extremely catchy theme song ‘Pharaoh, Pharaoh’. A new song, ‘When I hear the stories of when Jesus walked on earth’, gave us all a chance to catch our breath and concentrate on the words and signing. Katie led prayer sessions where adults and children had opportunities to say sorry, thank you and please to God in different creative ways.
Our craft activities including making chocolate crispy baskets with jelly baby Moses, decorating biscuits, noisy frogs, Egyptian desert scenes with sweets hidden inside the pyramids and Arks of the Covenant for storing precious possessions. The children all seemed to enjoy this time to express their creativity and chat to old and new friends.
Our Closing Service had a real buzz with lots of the children attending with their families to hear the final part of the story – Moses and the Israelites learning to trust God in the unfamiliar desert. We watched a fantastic montage of photos and video from the week, put together by Matilda, one of our amazing teenage helpers and everybody had the chance to write their name on a lolly stick and plant it in the sand tray as a symbol of us handing over our prayer concerns to God.
As always, Holiday Club is a massive team effort with over 40 people involved in preparing crafts and scenery, serving refreshments, leading activities and supporting the children. In addition, we were very aware of the prayer support from St Mary’s. Thank you to everybody who made Holiday Club such a memorable time and showed God’s love to the children.