We normally have a week-long holiday club in the first week of the summer holidays. This year it was going to be ‘Zookeepers’ and we were in the early stages of planning it when it became clear that we were just not going to be able to run it. Much of the value of holiday club is in the relationships built and the faith shared as we do things together and families said that they didn’t really want yet another thing online having had virtual school for so long. So with heavy hearts, we postponed the plans for a year.
In recent years, the final part of holiday club has been to gather at Xpressions Café on the following Sunday to share what we have been doing with more people. Last year we held an eco-café, following the holiday club theme Eco Warriors. And this year…?
In the absence of both holiday club and Xpressions Café, we decided to hold Going Wild: an event in our wildlife churchyard. We invited the usual Xpressions Café families, our Xtra! (after school club) families, and those who have attended holiday club recently. Sadly, numbers had to be limited as we could only host 10 families, arriving at 10-minute intervals, in the churchyard. We asked families to bring their own basic equipment – pencils, water bottles, hand sanitiser – and magnifying glasses, binoculars, cameras if they had them.
We provided several activities to encourage engagement with the environment: a spotter booklet to find things in the churchyard and tick them off; a collage bag for them to collect things to take home to make a picture; a recycled fruit punnet in which to build their own bug house; some prayer activities; people to talk about birds, bees, hedgehogs; and some storytellers.
There were several highlights from the day; best of which, everyone had fun! The team enjoyed being together again – in a socially-distanced way. The children loved seeing the nests from our bird boxes, the hedgehog houses, tasting honey…. the photos say it all really.
All photos courtesy of All Saints Church, Chedgrave