Celebrate 100 – Celebrated!

On August Bank Holiday Monday 33 people from the Deanery of Biggleswade boarded a coach in response to the Bishop’s invitation to gather at the Keysoe Equestrian Centre and celebrate 100 years of service by the St Albans Diocese in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Luton and Barnet.

Weather-wise, few August days could have been worse – incessant rain and a temperature more suited to October but we were not downhearted. There was so much to do, see and experience. We all made different choices and regretted that there was not time to ‘do it all’.

For me the Essex Dog Display Team, the singing of internationally famous bass baritone Jonathan Veira, the wise words of Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans and the opportunity to have a go at painting an icon were some of the highlights. In the meantime others were enjoying trying their hand at ringing full-size church bells or laughing at the Holy Kapow circus skills double act and applauding Duggie Dug Dug with his well known song time ministry especially for children.

Pam Rhodes was a lovely, talented presenter of all that went on in the main arena, ranging from J.John’s uplifting words to a brief talk by Bedfordshire High Sheriff Colin Osborne and great singing from the Bedford Community and Sharnbrook Gospel Choirs and I haven’t even mentioned the exquisite cake shaped like a tea table complete with gingham cloth that won the Cake-off competition; all this and a falconry display, a tent filled with Messy Church activities, Classic Cars, a free Fair Ground and It’s-a-Knockout too.

The day concluded in prayer with a Festival Eucharist during which we sang Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

The Bishop had promised us that the day would be a foretaste of heaven – a party full of fun, laughter and food; an occasion when the host has laid on all manner of good things to make everyone welcome; a time to enjoy one another’s company. We were not disappointed.  

Maureen Munro,  Reader, St Swithun’s Sandy.