Celebrating our successful festival: Celebrate 100
2nd September 2014
From Bishop Richard, on behalf of the Celebrate 100 team
Thank you on behalf of the organising team and myself for all of the hard work that you put into making Celebrate 100 such an amazing event. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who came, the kind words everybody has expressed about the event and the number of emails sending thanks to everyone who contributed.
After making the decision to set up the stage for an outdoor event on Friday, the weather forecast changed and started to predict rain and eventually had deteriorated so far that Amber warnings were issued for a downpour. On Sunday morning we therefore decided that we should implement our wet weather contingency plan to dismantle the stage and move indoors.
We had to cancel some events such as the giant bouncy castles in the fairground for safety reasons and many of the open top classic cars were just not up to a day in the rain. However the College Equestrian Centre proved that is was the right choice for the event as it provided facilities which enabled us to continue with a full programme of activities.
Inside the indoor arena our speakers and worship all took place on schedule and the marquees protected Messy Church, crafts and all of the other activities planned through the day. From the covered veranda, we were able to watch dog and bird displays in the outdoor arena, we rang bells, drove motor cars and across the site, a real sense of British fortitude ensured we triumphed over the elements. Teams from across the Diocese played ‘It’s a Knockout’, and the dodgems operating throughout the day offered free rides undercover, which were very popular.
Inspite of everybody knowing from the weather reports on the day that is was going to be very wet, they still came from all over the Diocese. The Borough Council have advised us that throughout the day 4,500 people came and went and over 1,500 people stayed until the end and joined in the Celebrate 100 service. A retiring offering raised £2,200 for the Harvest Appeal.
We were particularly moved by the number of people who made the pilgrimage to the prayer tents in the woodland burial ground in the rain. This will surely be a day to remember and we are deeply grateful to everybody who has helped in the arrangements over the past year. Thank you for the part which you played in helping us to Celebrate 100
The Centenary Prayer
God our Father, in this centenary year
we thank you for the life and witness
of your Church in this Diocese of St Albans
for making us your pilgrims and disciples in our own day.
May we always be valiant for truth
and ready to live your love in our lives,
for Jesus’ sake
Many thanks to all of our sponsors and donors
Gold Sponsor: Neville Funeral Service
Silver Sponsor: Peter Chalk & Co (Taxation for Clergy), Routen Chaplin Financial Advisers
St Albans Woodland Burial Trust,
Verulam House Trust Fund
Wests Group, BlackRock, Lee Bolton Monier Williams, Rumball Sedgwick