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Beverly Baptist Church Across Hemel

Across Hemel

Three to four thousand people attended the Across Hemel family fun day on Gadebridge Park on Sunday 3rd May 2009, according to police estimates. The fun day was part of the three day Across Hemel event organised by twenty-four churches from around the town.The event began on Friday 1st May with a series of community projects in different areas. Anna Nicks, who co-ordinated this part of the event, said, “It was fantastic to see Christians from right across the town serving their communities by washing cars, picking litter, doing up gardens and many other things.” “We were delighted in how well it all came together. It was just great to see so many Christians working with each other to put on something for their community.”Angela Such (Event Organiser) That evening, hundreds of people attended free BBQs, some in people’s homes, others held in churches. Simon Wright of St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Church said, “We had a great evening, serving hundreds of burgers and sausages. It was fantastic for the church to be able to reconnect with the community in this way.” During the day, on Saturday, hundreds more Hemel residents were served by more community action teams. As one Hemel resident, who enjoyed a cup of tea and a cake from one of these teams, put it, “It’s good to see the Christians pulling together.” Later that evening, the huge marquee on Gadebridge Park hosted a massive quiz night with a £1000 winning prize for a registered charity. Four hundred people packed into the marquee in fifty teams to do battle. The winners, by the incredibly slender margin of just half a point, were a group who will donate the money to kidney research. One of the group suffers from a kidney disease, and so they are hoping to raise £3,500 for research into kidney diseases. One of the winners, Mary Webb, said, “We never thought we would win, but it was a really fun evening, and we’re so pleased to have raised so much money for Kidney Research UK. My son is doing a sponsored climb of Mount Kilamanjaro to try and raise the rest.” On Sunday 3rd May, the fun continued with a large joint church service in the marquee. The Deputy Mayor and Mike Penning, MP, joined a crowd of one thousand to watch the speaker, Steve Lee, appear to cut a man in two and make milk disappear, before telling the crowd the story of the Prodigal Son and saying that God is longing for everyone to know him. That afternoon, the family fun day attracted a crowd of three to four thousand who enjoyed bouncy castles, face paints, a café and much, much more all entirely for free. Louise Stafford, mother of two young children who attended, said, “My kids really loved it, especially the bouncy castles. They were exhausted by the evening as there had been so much to do.” Luke Flynn, 11, thought it was great too. “It was really good, I really enjoyed it, especially the kangaroos where you had to wrestle the other person.” That evening, Across Hemel hosted the final free event, and it was standing room only as twelve hundred people listened to the London Community Gospel Choir perform in the big marquee. By the end, the whole crowd were on their feet dancing and clapping along to the music. The choir was followed by Steve Lee who encouraged the crowd to rediscover their Christian faith. All of these events were put on for free by 24 churches across the town spanning every tradition and denomination. Angela Such, who organised the whole event said, “We were delighted in how well it all came together. It was just great to see so many Christians working with each other to put on something for their community.” Justin Thacker, Chair of the event, said, “Sometimes people have this idea that church is boring and irrelevant. Across Hemel has more than demonstrated to those who came that Church in Hemel at least is fun and has something for everyone.” He then added, “Our purpose was to show God’s love in action and in word.

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