Our Easterfest was a brilliant success.  We ran different events from Saturday 8th April to Monday 17th April 2017 to incorporate all ages and interests.  


Men’s Breakfast - the 70 men who attended were spoilt with a superb full cooked breakfast fit for a king provided by Sandra Bogle and her team (a huge thank you!).  The speaker was George Barkely who spoke about the similarities of going to an MOT centre (there being normally 3 lanes to choose from) and our life having lanes/paths to choose which is simply two paths: one leading to heaven and one leading to hell depending on whether or not we choose to follow Christ.  He spoke about the circumstances of his own life and related well to the farmers who were present. 


Coffee & Creative Prayer morning - prayer was based on ‘Rolling Back the Stone’ (the resurrection of Jesus Christ) and time was given to prayer focus, bible reflection, personal reflection and prayer to enable us to commit to God any hindrances which prevents us from embracing a new life with God to the full.


Bakes & Brooches: Adele Moore hosted a baking demonstration of multi-coloured cake, shortbread, wheaten bread, caramelised onion tartlets (and lots more!) and provided excellent baking tips.  She kindly provided us with an array of treats that she had already made and these were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  The fun continued with brooch making and an Easter ‘snippet’.  This was very much enjoyed by everyone who attended. 


Coffee & Beetle drive - this was held in the home of our parishioner Mrs Joan Armstrong and (if you have ever been to a beetle drive you will know) that it is fun and light hearted with competition rife not just to win but for an artistic looking beetle!  We were joined by Helen Houston who kindly shared her testimony.


Film Nights


Men’s Film Night: Gran Torino - About 30 men joined together and had chilli/chicken with rice and dessert of Easter eggs along with tea and coffee.  After the Gran Torino film, Rev Philip spoke about the change in the main character Walt Kowalski (played by Clint Eastwood) from a grumpy old man, with a prejudiced attitude to those of the Asian community who had moved in next door, to a man who came to deeply care for them and sacrificed everything for them; as did Jesus sacrifice himself for us.  The importance of a man’s role in family life and how they provide a guide for others was also shown through Walt’s relationship with the next door’s son who had no male role model and who was able to go onto a life without stealing or joining a gang through the lessons he had learnt from Walt.


Ladies’ Film Nights:  


Over 50 people attended the ‘Miracles in Heaven’ ladies film night which supplied light refreshments.  The film is based on a true story of how God healed a girl from an incurable disease and is a must watch for everyone.  The film shows how God can use our faith and time of suffering to strengthen others and spread His word of eternal life.


‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ is an oscar-winning film which provided us with a lot of laughter and showed how in the midst of competition, heartache and discrimination in life, when love enters it conquers everything.  We finished with the poem ‘Easter Joy’ by Joanne Fuchs which tells us that “Now we know our earthly death, Like His, is just a rest.  We'll be forever with Him. In heaven, where life is best.”


Messy Easter - approximately 70 parents and children joined together for this messy play morning which included decorating buns, play dough and various Easter themed artwork.  Children’s songs were sung and we also had a puppet show sharing the true meaning of Easter.  A delicious lunch of home-made soup, sandwiches, crisps and biscuits was also provided. 


Parent & Child Camp Out - This was great ‘craic’ (tea/coffee, homemade treats and a bbq in the evening).  There was (of course)…the obligatory Easter egg hunt for the children and they enjoyed running around the field together playing games.  We were joined by Liam McMulkin who provided us with entertainment at the campfire by leading us in sing-along songs (with actions!) which had us all joining in and the laughter of the children and parents was fabulous.  We’re sure some of the parents were getting more involved in the songs than some of the kids.  The words ‘But I’m not scared…’ will forever be sketched in the memories of the attendees! 


At 6.15am on Easter Sunday morning, all the parents and children from the camp out got up and out of their tents (some taking a little more persuasion to get up than others…) to join other parishioners from our church who had successfully woken up bright and breezy to attend the Easter Dawn Sunday Service at Muckross Quay.  As dawn approached, Canon Henry provided the service whilst Rev Philip played the guitar and hymns were sung by the attendees.  It was a truly magical and uplifting morning and really set the atmosphere for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  A magnificent breakfast was provided by the Guides - bacon/sausage baps together with tea/coffee.


We also had our normal Sunday Services together with a Maundy Thursday and  Good Friday Service.


On Easter Monday around 27 people took the long journey up Cuilcagh mountain.  Everybody encouraged each other up this steep walk which took approximately 2 hours to get to the top (1 1/2 hours to get down!).  There was good banter along the way and this walk was a great achievement for everyone involved.  At the end, Peter Booth shared his testimony and everyone joined together for their well deserved lunch and tea/coffee.


Thank you to everyone who provided their help in ensuring all these events took place and for those who came along to make them a success.