Forum 2008

Are you enthusiastic when you go on holiday? Have you ever thought about a holiday with a difference? What about a holiday conference? If not, why not consider Holiday Forum! It’s simulating, entertaining, relaxing and caters for all generations of the family. Every summer, at least one person enquires if I’m going to Holiday Forum and they are never surprised when I reply ‘Yes, after 27 years, it continues to be my favourite holiday of the year!’ In August 2008 we explored the theme ‘The Vision We’ve Caught?’ which was delivered by the Moderator of Southern Synod Revd Nigel Uden. Our Worship leader was Revd David Littlejohns, a URC Minister in Worthing. Nigel inspired us with his witty personality and led us to consider aspects of the Christian Calendar in a new light, while David enabled us all to participate with the children in our family worship. Although celebrating Christmas on the Monday and Easter three days later was a little unusual, Nigel particularly highlighted issues that evoked discussion; curiosity and a fresh look at the Bible in an exciting way. An enjoyable aspect of Holiday Forum is the wide range of activities. I personally enjoy waking up and attending morning prayers, before breakfast, worship and the theme. After worship, there are plenty of activities for children and young people, from art, drama and sport to group activities, which follow the path of the theme. This year, the adults were spoiled for choice with Bible study, discussion, music, needlework, computers in worship and photography (for digital beginners). Each year the groups vary, enabling Holiday Forum to retain its variety. Afternoons particularly incorporate the holiday aspect of the conference. It wouldn’t be the same without all age cricket, a bouncy castle and treasure hunts, but for people who feel that would be a little too active, Desert Island Disks, Poetry Please and Music and Musings may be preferable activities. This year, many people enjoyed a coach trip around the Derbyshire Dales while the young people and children went ice- skating and swimming. It is not just my Biblical knowledge, which is refreshed and challenged at Holiday Forum, but it is where I feel part of God’s family, the church family. During the evening there are opportunities to take part in quizzes, folk dancing, a songs of praise, modern worship (often led by the young people) and many more activities including a Healing service and each evening, a meditation. It is the only place I have personally known where individuals aged 0 to 99+ are accepted and have fun together. It is one of the only events I have experienced where three generations of the same families regularly attend together and where a communion service at the end of this wonderful experience continues to be special and unites God’s family. Forum has been instrumental in the lives of so many people that it has been running for 59 years. Next summer, the 60th Forum is going to a special occasion, so why not come along? You will be welcome if you are on your own, with a friend or with your family. If you are an old Forumite and haven’t been for a while why not join us for the week, or even just a few days.

by Sian Davies

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