Posted by Stella Gooch
Arriving at Ely Cathedral
“Champion of Champions” – games, drama, music and lots of fun – it was all on the advert for Praise Party in Ely. When I signed up for it at Dersingham Kidz Club I had no idea what to expect and my son and I found ourselves having an unusual but fun day out.
We all met up in the carpark at Budgens at a respectable 10.45am ish. Regrettably the coach had to make a stop in Heacham so we were waiting a little while on an unseasonally cold and blustery day. No matter – our coach driver did arrive in due course and off we went. It was a jolly journey with everyone – especially the children – being rather chatty and lively. Steve Lofts “tour guide” attempt was a hoot and caused a smile or too.
We arrived in Ely to find the weather was not ideal for our planned picnic in the grounds of Ely Cathedral which was a shame. However, instead we all trooped off to the riverside and found sufficient bench seating for us to enjoy a riverside lunch instead. After a leisurely lunch observing the river traffic, we headed for the Cathedral once again.
Once we had passed through the entry gate of Ely Cathedral we were treated to a welcome from “Sparta”, “Athens” and “Corinth” who were to feature in the programme for the afternoon. Adorning the interior of the Cathedral were a great many flags from far flung places around the globe. Having noted the “Greek-style” welcome and the flags I was not unduly surprised to realise that the subject of the programme had its roots in the Olympics.
There was a fun and interactive quiz session about everyone’s general knowledge concerning the forthcoming London Olympics. Surprisingly, not many of us really knew the answers (adults and children). The children were divided up into three groups – Sparta, Athens and Corinth strangely enough! Within their groups they took part in an art and craft session where they created an Olympic Torch of their own to take home. They also got to take part in an indoor Olympic Games. The best part to observe in the Olympic Games had to the the caterpillar wheels – smaller groups of children got inside a wide plastic strip and created the effect of being wheels of a tank. In all there were three of these and they had to work together as a team to cover the “track” and basically raced to the finish line. It was great fun. The groups rotated round so they had an opportunity to enjoy refreshments where the toddlers and pre-schoolers could also play in a safe area.
The compere/host who was from GENR8 (a voluntary organisation who produce several presentations each year about the Christian faith) was absolutely fantastic. He totally engaged young and old amongst the audience and got a strong Christian message across whilst also letting everyone have fun. I don’t know if he was a Vicar or a professional entertainer – he could have been both! He obviously loved what he was doing and showed no sign of being tired after a frenetic several hours.
The trip was very enjoyable and everyone returned to Dersingham in high spirits having learnt the positive importance of determination and dedication and not allowing ourselves to be distracted from our goals both in the every day context and the relgious context.
Children agog at the Praise Party presentation
Sparta, Athens & Corinth
Lunch by the river in Ely
Steve chats to us during lunch by the river in Ely
GENR8 aims to present Christian values and themes in a fun, lively, relevant and educational way to primary school aged children.The organisation is concerned that many children do not attend churches, or church clubs and groups. GenR8 recognises that, through schools, there is an opportunity to share Christian values, and themes in a fun, lively, relevant and educational way.
GenR8 presentations are prepared in line with primary learning objectives, and accompanied by a worksheet of ideas giving schools the opportunity to follow up ideas & themes in further assemblies or lessons.
“GenR8 has delivered assemblies to 350 children in our school with ages between 5 and 11. They have a variety of approaches to their theme thus ensuring the message is fully received by all. Their assemblies are well paced and use a variety of styles ensuring 100% attendance by all – including adults!! … Highly recommended”