Churches join together for Lighthouse Holiday Clubs
Lighthouse Holiday Clubs began in Great Missenden in 1988 and have spread across Buckinghamshire and into South Oxfordshire. With a strong principle that a Lighthouse ministry should only begin when a region has the majority of churches on board is something that really attracts churches who are keen to work together in children’s ministry.
The children’s summer holiday weeks usually follow similar formats, although each outlet will adapt the material and details to their context. It is run through a partnership of local churches and supported by hundreds of experienced volunteers. Lighthouse provides an opportunity for children and young people to learn more about God’s amazing love for us all and understand what difference Jesus can make to our lives. The objective is to create a safe, fun and enjoyable environment for everyone.
Lighthouse programmes encourage and train teenagers (from year 7) to learn how to be small group leaders of the younger children (called Lamplighters) in the daytime. In the evenings there are unique events and fun and teaching activities for those lamplighters, run by Youthworkers from local churches.
Thame is a holiday week for children and young people, 23-27 July at Lord Williams’ Upper School. They usually get 400 volunteers and this year have 14 people coming from the USA. Thame also run Silver Lighthouse during the same week which is tailored to elderly residents who do not usually manage to go out. They come, have lunch, do craft and have a good sing-song.
Linda Newton, from Lighthouse Thame, said: “It is great for the area when churches can be seen to work together. It doesn’t matter whether you come from a particular denomination - working together indicates our shared love for God and for the children in our community. Everyone in town feels the presence of lighthouse, seeing the black crew tshirts all over the place. They ask us why we do it and it’s a great conversation starter.” www.lighthousethame.org.uk
Lighthouse Marlow 2012 will run from 13 to 17 August 2012 at Holy Trinity School - a fantastic week of fun, teaching, sport and friendship for over 300 children.
Pat Reading said: “All churches are involved in it and we are excited at the amazing response we have each year. Last time we had 200 volunteers, young leaders and 350 children came. It’s my favourite week of the year from an ecumenical point of view.” www.lighthousemarlow.com
(Author: Lucy Cooper
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