Parish Weekend Away
St Andrew's & St Mary's
Friday 26-28 April 2019
Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 2DZ
Relax Reflect Refresh
Our 2019 joint Parish Weekend Away was a great time for all who were lucky enough to go. With ages ranging from 2 to 80+, it was an opportunity to spend time together across our two congregations from St Andrew's and St Mary's, for friendships to be made and strengthened, plenty of fun and laughter to be had and time for worship, teaching and reflection, too.
We returned to Belsey Bridge in Suffolk for a joint Parish Weekend Away after our first such visit in April 2017. Our theme for the 2019 weekend was Amazing Grace - God's radical hospitality and loving kindness. We had the opportunity to:
Relax in 20 acres of grounds, country walks, wide games, evening bar
Reflect with optional workshops and talks
Refresh with times of worship and prayer
A selection of photos from the 2019 Weekend Away:
Reflections on the Weekend Away 2019:
Amazing Grace - God's radical hospitality and loving kindness was the theme for our Joint Parish weekend on 26th–28th April held at Belsey Bridge Conference Centre near Bungay, Suffolk.
CHRIS SEWARD: On the Sunday afternoon, travelling home on the A14 near Bury St Edmund’s, we spoke about exiting a great big bubble. For forty eight hours we had been at Belsey Bridge, surrounded by friends, immersed in the details of our programme and, yes, filled with the spirit of God. The worship was uplifting, the workshops laid the ground for new directions and the companionship helped forge new and deeper friendships. We pray that the energy and enthusiasm of everyone who took the road to Suffolk will sustain us over the months ahead.
Well done to the birders who rose at 5.30am to enjoy the special qualities of the Dawn Chorus in late April. Congratulations to the walkers who trod a very windy (but not too lengthy) path across the country footpaths led by Helen & Robin and thank you to the leader of our Saturday evening game called “Don’t Miss the Train” - Wayne, you were awesome!
We set ourselves a mission to explore and understand a little better God’s amazing grace. We reflected on the idea that we are all in receipt of His grace, always without deserving, sometimes without asking or, indeed, realising. God’s hospitality to us knows no boundaries. Now we are home, out of the bubble, the challenge is to remember this on a daily basis and to keep the spirit of hospitality alive for all we meet and for all who seek.
PETER SHARMAN: I really enjoyed going on the church weekend away at Belsey Bridge. This was my second time of going there and I really enjoyed my first, so I looked forward to more fun. The activities that we did were really good. We did this game where there were lots of names of countries around the room, then someone would read out a law and you had to go to the country you thought the law was in. Also, the first year I was in a room with my parents, so I really liked having my own room away from Mum (and Dad who couldn’t come this time). Another pro was that I was always surrounded by friends in our corridor area. To add to that I really enjoyed doing the puppet show – even though they are really heavy. I also loved the range of food there was. I am generally a fussy eater. However, there was always something I liked.
HAZEL & PETER RISBY: A week-end full of grace, with plenty of everything to suit everyone.
Planned to perfection to give loads of absorbing workshops with a wide range of worship and plenty of time to reflect, relax, chill out and socialise. There was even time for two of the most elderly couples, both of whom live in bungalows, to walk from their second floor rooms furthest from the dining and activity areas to arrive at them in good time!
We got home exhausted but exhilarated!
Our sincere thanks and congratulations to all those who gave us such a memorable occasion.