Love Calderdale is an annual event organised by Christians Together in Calderdale, as a way of saying ‘God loves you’ to the people of Calderdale. While the Piece Hall is being re-furbished the event is held in streets around the Southgate area of town. Donkey rides, refreshments, foot massage, craft activities, free books, toys and clothes and street entertainment, to name just a few of the activities, is offered free to anyone who cares to take part. The trustees once again decided that CICS should be involved in the event.
The Bus Oasis was parked outside Clarke’s Shoe Shop providing drinks and computer facilities, and Carol was on board with a large map of Calderdale inviting children to locate their school and put a pin in the map. She had over 30 visitors (and therefore chats with children) representing 5 High schools, 14 Primary schools and 2 from outside Calderdale.
Angela was in the Prayer Tent with the Prayer Pool and a large jigsaw map to be made up. Prayers written on a folded paper ‘flower’ open up in the Prayer Pool and children & adults appreciated this opportunity to offer prayer. The jigsaw provided a chance to chat about countries of origin and this particularly appealed to a group of Iranians who were keen to talk about their journey. Angela said ‘It was humbling to be with so many people who clearly had a need to pray and receive prayer. It was equally surprising so few people had any previous experience of prayer’.
Rosemary and Pauline were in Russell Street with children’s activities: fridge magnets, a Pentecost Flame wrist band, and a box to make & fill, on which ‘Trust in the Lord and He will help you’ was printed on one face. We were kept very busy from start at 11am till 4.30 when the event closed with an act of worship including seven baptisms. Some families remembered the event from previous years and had come specially, for others it was their first experience of Love Calderdale. It was good to be able to chat to parents and children and to watch them create something together. Leaflets were available for all stalls to give out explaining the reason behind the event. There was a really happy atmosphere in town all day in spite of a very chilly wind!
Worth doing for CICS? Yes, because it is good to share God’s love in a positive way and to make ourselves known to people. But next year, when it is expected the event will return to the Piece Hall for 2 days (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2017) we definitely need a bigger team of helpers so we can work on a rota basis.
For this year – thanks to all who organise the event and to our helpers from the Gathering Place who helped us set up at 9.30am.