Maidenhead Carnival – 2nd June 2012

What a fantastic time we enjoyed at Maidenhead Carnival 2012!

Yesterday evening, as we had finalised and made ready the marquees, tables and literature, we had been somewhat uncertain what the day would bring.  The stalls in Kidwells Park, of which we were one, had been moved across to a different area, with less space available.  We were even unsure as to whether we would be able to use both of the marquees.

We were on site by 8.30am this morning and found ourselves allocated a space at the corner of where the main access path meets another path – an ideal location!

Despite missing those away at camp, we had a good team who were able to assemble both marquees in good time before we ventured inside to enjoy a coffee and short time of prayer for the day ahead.

Once in the park, as we’ve found in previous years, the numbers take a while to get going.  The weather didn’t help, with a grey skies combining with a chilly breeze – only the most die-hard were able to have their Parkside polo shirts displayed!

A chilly morning in the park

We concentrated on giving invitations to the next Family Service and BBQ on 17th June, as well as various Jubilee tracts.

Poster advertising craft and literature table
Paul making a point

The marquees were decked out with bunting and paperchains in honour if the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – a theme picked up by surprisingly few of the other stalls.

This year we had a trio of craft activities for the children with crown-making and decorating probably being the most popular – ahead of colouring in Union Flags and the construction of cardboard ‘Olympic torches’.

Craft activities in the marquee

As well as handing out various literature, we were able to have some excellent conversations with passers-by – many of whom seemed very receptive – particularly to the invitation for a ‘free BBQ’.

Mike oblivious that he’s about to be eaten by a giant bird!

As in previous years, Paul had come prepared with a selection of Jubilee cupcakes, which proved popular with the helpers.

During the afternoon the sun finally broke through the clouds and brought with it the first warmth of summer.

Blue sky and polo shirts in the afternoon

As we struck camp in the sunshine at the end of the day, we all reflected on what a tremendous day we had enjoyed.  Many felt it to be our most successful Carnival yet in terms of goodie bags and literature distributed and we have already asked to return to the same spot next year!  With hindsight, more of the Jubilee themed literature would have been helpful as people seemed to be particularly keen to receive mementos of such a memorable weekend.

Ken having some issues with his nose!

We have much to praise the Lord for!

Family Service – 20th May 2012

We had around 45 people at today’s Family Service, which was chaired by Phil Bray.

The theme for this month was Celebrating: The Year of Jubilee and began with the singing of I will sing the wondrous story and prayer.

We also enjoyed a Royal Family themed matching pairs Jubilee Quiz and more singing before John Davies came up to speak, picking out the theme of Jubilees from the Bible.

Our next Family Service is on 17th June and will be followed by a BBQ.

Coffee in the Park – 1st October 2011

We enjoyed fantastic weather for an extra Coffee in the Park that slipped into the schedule.

We were able to be out in the park but didn’t use the marquee as we were somewhat short of numbers for setting up.

Instead, tables were set out under the trees which proved to be excellent shelter given the unseasonal heat of the day.

Sheltering from the heat of the morning under the trees

We had reasonable numbers this morning and good conversations with others were reported.

This will be our final Coffee in the Park of 2011 although plans are already underway for 2012.

Coffee in the Park – 3rd September 2011

We had a shorter than normal Coffee in the Park this morning.

Table laden with drinks

Most of those at Parkside were heading over to Wokingham for the wedding celebration party of two of those who meet with us in Maidenhead. This meant that we did without the usual marquee and made do with a few tables in the park instead.

The weather was somewhat chilly and there were few people out and about in the park.

This was our final outing into Kidwells Park this season after only three Coffee in the Parks this summer.

Friends and Neighbours BBQ – 13th August 2011

Following some weeks of planning, we hosted our Friends and Neighbours BBQ today, between 5 and 7.30pm.

The weather was fine, with some cloud, but fortunately a lot drier than our equivalent BBQ last year.

Bunting set up with welcome tent in the background

We set up one marquee in the car-park and the second one out in the park.  In addition, we had a smaller marquee set out in the car-park as a welcome tent.  Here, Pam and Angela greeted visitors and gave them the option to wear a sticky label with their name on.

The welcome tent

By 5pm the BBQ was lit, the tents and bunting were in place and we had a good turnout from those at Parkside.

Robert at the BBQ
The marquee and BBQ in the car park

We had various quizzes ready as well as some games in the park and a treasure hunt.

The marquee and tables in the park

We were pleased to welcome some visitors along to the BBQ although were somewhat disappointed by the overall number of people joining us for the evening and will look to change things accordingly for next year.