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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Barrow’s ‘Holiday at home’ at multiple churches!

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Anna Chaplains from Barrow-in-Furness pulled off a remarkable feat this year by organising a ‘Holiday at home’ at not just one… but FOUR different churches… in a single week!

Anna Chaplain Babs Lowes and Jackie

Babs Lowes works across the churches in Barrow and those links meant a ‘movable feast’ from Monday to Thursday: St Paul’s Anglican church, Emmanuel Community Church, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church and Spring Mount independent church.

‘It was almost a year of planning’, said Babs. As well as the Anna Chaplaincy team there were many other volunteers involved. ‘There were 20 from my own church alone’, she said.

When Babs totted up everyone who had helped in some way – big and small, but all significant – she reached a total of 144 people!

The theme was ‘All our yesterdays’ and everything was free for the more than 30 ‘holidaymakers’. One church imagined it was a holiday ‘cruise’ on the Good Ship Emmanuel, and there was even a ship’s spa for nail painting and hand massages.

Activities in the different venues ranged from watching classic comedy clips (with popcorn), chair exercises, sing-alongs, carpet ten-pin bowling, local history slide shows, worship and ‘thoughts for the day’, visits from local school children and choirs… to making (and drinking) ‘mocktails’, tucking into a 1960s-style buffet (complete with cheese and pineapple on sticks, jelly and blancmange), watching Indian dancers putting on a vibrant show, and even some dancing among the guests as some took to the floor sporting specially-made bow ties for the gents and heavily sequined and feathered party head-dresses for the ladies.

‘The atmosphere was very relaxed at each and on the last day there was a really good party spirit’, said Babs.

Here’s just some of the feedback from the holidaymakers which was received:

‘A great day had by all. Lovely food and good company, with singing and a bit of dancing at Spring Mount.’ ‘Nice to have friendly banter and company.’ ‘It was wonderful.’ ‘Thursday was a beautiful day with plenty of party songs. I also enjoyed making mocktails. ‘Playing pool on Tuesday was really exciting. Well done and many thanks to the volunteers, behind the scenes, that made it possible.’ ‘Everybody was really nice. Well done to all who made this so special.’

There were lots of details to be thought through, from invitations and publicity, transport, disabled access, supplying food and being aware of individuals’ allergies, to heaving chairs to and fro, cleaning up afterwards and planning the final ‘thank-you event’ in order to round off the whole project well.

Despite the inevitable exhaustion following such an ambitious ‘Holiday at home’, it has been declared ‘a resounding success’ and the team is already turning their thoughts to next year…

(Photo credits: Robin Ham and Babs Lowes)




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