Dates : Saturday 18th August to Friday 24th August 2007
Leaders : Sheila Maxey (Theme), Alistair Smeaton (Worship) and Richard Bittleston (Music)
This year’s theme, ‘To be a Pilgrim’, was ably led by Sheila Maxey. Each day we looked at a different aspect of the pilgrim journey – we need a guide but not a map, bread for the journey, the pilgrim road is a rough road, but we must ‘rejoice in the Lord always’. Alistair Smeaton’s worship was based around the journeys of St Paul and his skilful use of puppets was appreciated by all ages – the children were very good at working the puppets with minimal practice. Music was again of a high standard, and as a finale to Forum this year, the choral workshop performed a musical ‘Tobias and the Angel’, written by the music leader, Richard Bittleston. This was ably dramatised by the younger members of Forum.
Morning activities included bible studies, discussion groups, needlework, drama and music workshops after coffee. The young people were in groups before coffee for art, drama and sport. After coffee there were age groups working on the theme.
With 200 people ranging in ages from 10 months to 90+, it was good to see everyone mixing well. Although the weather at the beginning of the week was not so good, it improved as the week went on. Activities were many and wide ranging – sports (cricket, football, archery, canoeing, boules, table tennis and all-age sports and mini-olympics were well supported. The outing to Chatsworth was enjoyed by a large number, and those who braved the long walk came back tired but happy. The Scrabble competition was again a keenly fought event. Evening entertainment this year included a pub quiz and a beetle drive. It was good to have live music (provided by a group from Woking) for the folk dancing on several evenings. One evening the young people organised an All Age Worship, which was much appreciated by young and old alike.
This year, we had several new faces, and it was good to welcome these as well as several old friends. The general concensus was that this year’s Forum was a good one.