There are some times when I am just so proud of our church and the stuff we do … like our recent Bognor Regis Community Fun Day (or ‘Wspólny Dzień Zabawy’ as the Polish version of our flyer said it).
Bognor Regis Community Fun Day!
Over 100 Grace Church people, from all three of our sites, helped to run the event on Hampshire Avenue Recreation Ground and we estimate that around 2,000 local people came along and took part in various ways. Highlights included:
- Over 1,000 hot dogs and hamburgers served … for free
- Over 1,000 home made cup cakes made and given away … for free
- Over 1,800 drinks given away … for free
- More than 1,500 sweets and prizes won or given away from our competition stands … which were free
- 5 live owls made friends with lots of our guests … for free
- A giant 85ft inflatable assault course was jumped on by a lot of people … for free
You get the idea by now, it was all for free, including:
- Several summer fete style games (made especially for the event free of charge by a local shop owner who liked what we were doing).
- A teddy bears picnic with inflatable ball pool, bouncy castle and party bags
- A taekwondo display
And of course there was excellent live music too from several different people and groups.
As one of my friends said to me on Twitter:
“Who could imagine you could have so much fun in Bognor?”
Why do it?
So why would we do an event like this, and why would we do it for free? Because we have been so blessed by God ourselves that we want to bless other people in turn. Jesus said,
“Freely you have received, freely give.”
God’s Grace is when he gives us what we do not deserve and could not earn. That includes all the good things in life that we enjoy, whether we acknowledge it or not, but most of all it includes God’s mercy and forgiveness which we can find through knowing his son Jesus:
“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life”
It’s hard to be certain what the long term impact of a day like this is; it’s certainly not something that can be easily measured. Following the day we received lots of positive comments from local people, which was great, but the best thing for me was that people joined us on Sunday morning as we held our church meeting in the marquee on the green, and that some of them made a choice to receive the forgiveness Jesus freely offers for themselves.
That’s more than a long term impact – that’s something which will last for eternity.