Churches from across the Diocese of Durham who provide â€˜Holiday Clubsâ€™ have proved a big hit with Families this summer.
Twenty Eight Churches from the Dales to the Sea and the Tyne to the Tees in the Diocese of Durham have opened their doors this summer with an extensive programme of activities for Children and their families with one thing in mind – providing an unforgettable experience and memories to cherish for many years to come.
Church Holiday Clubs provide a range of activities for children and families from a variety of faiths and none. The activities with a wide range of themes all promote togetherness and community cohesion along with a nutritious meal for everyone attending.
One of the Churches hosting a Holiday Club every Tuesday in August is Sunderland Minster who chose a theme of the sport and play titled MinsterLympics styled after the Rio Olympics complete with a statue of â€˜Christ The Redeemerâ€™ towering over the proceedings – just like in Rio.
The Revd Fiona Collin who has coordinated the Minsterâ€™s Holiday Club this year said: â€œThis initiative is something we have done for three years now. Itâ€™s great to be able to invite families to events during the summer holidays to help keep children occupied by offering fun, friendship and food to our neighbours.
â€œHoliday Clubs speak into the Diocesan priority on Poverty which recognises that this may not only be in terms of economics but includes relationships and opportunities. By encouraging families to come along and share in these clubs we hope to address all of these aspects, making it a wholesome and positive time for families.
â€œWe chose an Olympic theme to bring Rio here to Sunderland. Our activities include crafts, water-fun, sports, outdoor play, bible stories, puppets, singing and dancing. We end the morning with everyone sharing a healthy two course lunch.
â€œOur desire is to bless our community by serving in this way. Through this experience we want to help families create great memories, so when children go back to school they have something exciting and interesting to share.â€
Families say that they find the Holiday Clubs to be very rewarding for the children and as two parents from the Indian Community in Sunderland said: â€œOur children are excited to get up the morning to come to this fantastic Minster Holiday Club. Being here is getting them out of the house, mixing with others and is a fun distraction from playing with their tablets and laptops. â€˜Thank you to the Minsterâ€™ for this.â€
Revd Fiona added: â€œWe are very grateful for the support and sponsorship of a number of partners, including the City Council, Greggs, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Communities Together Durham. Across our Diocese these joint ventures with the Church Urban Fund are positively impacting our communities. We extend a huge thank you to all those involved in helping deliver our Diocesan mission â€˜to bless our communities in Jesus name for the transformation of us allâ€™.