The 15th Marlow Lighthouse, was one of the best!
This year we had nearly 300 volunteer helpers, just over 100 of whom were aged 12-17. Most were from the local community and many also attend Marlow churches. Ninety of the volunteers indicated that they attend All Saints Church. Many of these volunteers played leading roles in the organisation and delivery of Lighthouse.
We had applications from over 600 children, and we were able to take 480 children for all or part of the week. What is great to see is that young people who started off as small children in the Lighthouse creche or in the youngest age groups, come back as helpers and gradually increase the level of responsibility they take on. This year several took leading roles in the mainstage drama team, the techies team and as Lighthouse Keepers.
At Lighthouse children enjoy a range of activities including worship, learning about Biblical events, sport, drama, craft, and the ever-popular messy games – with losers ending up in the gunge tank. Everything the children do during the week links back to the theme, which this year was focused on the Great Commission. So, for the children, it was all about going on a journey to spread the Christian message and to carry on the good works that Jesus started.
The journey we took was on HMS Lighthouse, the sailing of which was initially delayed, reminding us to be patient, and later in the week we became shipwrecked because a grumpy lighthouse keeper was not shining his light to warn us of the rocks ahead. Having convinced the lighthouse keeper to share his light with others he is persuaded to help them mend the ship. But where are they going? By Friday we realise that the journey is symbolic of our journey through life and that the aim is to share God’s love. HMS Lighthouse sets off again, with the crew looking for the next person they can help.
New for Lighthouse Marlow this year was a drop-in parent and toddler group called Little Lighthouse. This ran every morning and was very successful, attracting up to 50 children (with their parents, grandparents or childminders) each day. All were able to get a taste of what Lighthouse was like whilst playing, listening to stories, taking part in craft activities and learning some of the Lighthouse songs.
Following financial challenges over the last few years we are pleased to have received financial and in-kind support from all the local churches and increased support from the community. Anyone wanting to know more, or to find out how they could get involved, should take a look at our website or e-mail email@example.com.
We are looking forward to next years’ Lighthouse – 3rd-7th August 2020. Save the date!
This article, written by Sarah Jones, featured in the Autumn 2019 edition of The Bridge – the magazine for All Saints’ Church in Marlow. Pick up your free copy in church or download it here.