Lowestoft ChurchFest

ChurchFest logo

ChurchFest logo

Now that the event has finished I have edited this post slightly to bring it up to date but an amazing couple of weeks has come to an end. In that time some 38 churches in the district from the Baptist, Bethel, Church of England, Community Church, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist, Society of Friends, United Reformed traditions have together opened their doors, put on special events and invited everyone in.

As well as being an opportunity for those who don’t attend any church to have a look inside somewhere they might have wondered about or for those who are lapsed churchgoers to renew their acquaintance, it is has been an opportunity for members of the different congregations to meet on each others ground and find out how similar we all are rather than how different! So soon after the event it is impossible to say how successful the ‘back to church’ final theme has been but time might tell. You can’t drag people back to church but you can try and offer the opportunity to those who have an unfilled spiritual need in their lives.

We already have an excellent ecumenical tradition in Lowestoft with Christians Together. Some of us are also part of the Men’s Christian Network which meets at 8.00am several times a year at a variety of venues to listen, after a full cooked English breakfast, to a guest

Rev. Ian Bentley

Rev. Ian Bentley

speaker relating aspects of his work, life and/or experiences in relation to Christianity. I won’t suggest that without the breakfast it is would be quite as popular but that at Pakefield Church Hall, the first event of the Fest, was very well attended to hear the speaker, the moving force behind the ChurchFest, Canon Ian Bentley.

Many of us also heard Ian speak at the dinner arranged by Our Lady Star of the Sea the following evening. A very full programme continued throughout the week and with church-sitting in my own church for two mornings I managed to visit only a few but they included a Yarmouth Brass concert at St. Mark’s Oulton Broad, Spinners and Weavers at Our Lady Star of the Sea (as well as a visit to the top of the church tower), a vegetarian lunch at the Seventh Day Adventists, an attempt to ‘Meet the New Minister’ at the South Lowestoft Methodist Church (but I arrived just too late) and a presentation about the Eighth Air Force at St. Edmund’s Church Hall, Kessingland by Bob Collis on behalf of Gisleham Holy Trinity – and there were another 43 events I didn’t manage to visit in just the first week! The following week started with a Harvest Thanksgiving service at the United Reformed Church and has gone on in like manner to week one.

Many congratulations to Rev’d. Canon Ian Bentley for a remarkable achievement in bringing all the churches together, albeit very willingly, and to the churches themselves for the effort that went in to make the Lowestoft ChurchFest truly memorable.

This entry was posted in Lowestoft & District and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *