Holiday at Home 2019 Report
As compiler of the Hatfield Road weekly notice sheet, I was well aware of the Holiday at Home being run at Marlborough Road for the last three years. Idy Osibodu started the initiative there and, since 2016, had kindly extended an invitation to folk from HRMC (and also St Peter’s, other churches and beyond), to be helpers or visitors/ guests. This year, Denise Willingham teamed up with Idy to plan H@H for two days at HRMC, as well as the two days at MRMC.
I offered support in various forms, but had no preconceived ideas about the numbers of people involved, or the shape of the day. As well as regular churchgoers, several visitors came from nearby retirement/sheltered housing such as Cotsmoor and Beaumonds. Some attended just for one day, others came for more.
Day 1 began with half an hour for guest registration, with tea/coffee and cake/biscuits available, and an opportunity to chat with others – everyone had a name-badge, whether helpers or guests. Chris Hancock opened with a short devotional consisting of a passage from Proverbs, and provoked thought with a few words of wisdom of his own, followed by all singing a hymn. From then on it was “open house” with options of art or creative crafts, such as making greeting cards; flower arranging; table-top games (such as Scrabble, Rummikub, dominoes); jigsaws (two superb 100 large-piece pictures); and quizzes (picture clues on the wall to be solved, and 20 questions answered in teams).
Extras included boxes of historic artefacts from the 1940/50s/60s, borrowed from the museum, which triggered many comments such as “we had one of those” and “what on earth is that?”; carpet bowls in the Foyer (surprisingly difficult to judge the bias in the balls, but great fun); and armchair exercises in the Aldersgate Lounge.
A cooked lunch was provided, as well as refreshments and cake at other times.
Day 2 was similar to Day 1 but closed with a sing-along which included Daisy Bell, Love Me Tender and The Hippopotamus Song.
Days 3 and 4 were at MRMC, and followed much the same format but featured play-reading, and a ukelele band playing in the church.
Finally, on Day 5, Ely was the inspired choice for a coach trip for over 50 people who explored that lovely, compact city with its magnificent cathedral, various museums, Oliver Cromwell’s House, gardens, riverside walks and boat-rides, interesting shops, and numerous places to eat and drink.
Feedback from all attending was overwhelmingly positive and the helpers from the mix of churches worked beautifully and seamlessly together. On a personal note, I enjoyed every second. It was wonderful to chat with new people – everyone has their story and we inevitably find things in common. Watching games such as Rummikub, bringing out competitive instincts and different interpretations of the rules, provides great entertainment! Many were able to take home items they had made.
Well done to Idy and Denise, and thanks to all who helped make this a very enjoyable and worthwhile enterprise.
Photographs of the days at Hatfield Road
Photographs of the days at Marlborough Road
Photographs for the Day trip to Ely