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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > July 2019 > Holiday club mission

Holiday club mission

Jackie Macadam uncovers the churches supporting local communities by offering clubs and activities for children during school holidays.
Ayr St Columba Church, Holiday Club

“OH, it’s all gone quiet at the back…”

There can be few of us of a certain age who don’t remember the singing on the bus as we were driven into the countryside to the Sunday School picnic.

The unbridled joy of finding yourself in a new place, usually with a beach nearby or a field to chase and race and generally just go mad for an afternoon in the sunshine and the freedom.

But do children today have the same experience of a church-led outing or camp?

Today, many churches have recognised the need to offer a wider community outreach for children during school holidays with a programme of activities and to engage with youngsters – and help hardpressed parents.

Portobello Church in Edinburgh has been involved in a summer club since 2015 and has a built in advantage – there’s a big beach nearby.

Michelle Brown, co-director of Portobello Holiday Club, says local churches use the summer holidays to join with other Christian denominations nearby to provide fun for the youngsters.

“Every July since 2015, we have held an ecumenical holiday club for a week in Portobello. Initially and for the first three years, we were guided by Scripture Union Scotland and after that we became independent. The club is run by six area churches: Portobello Baptist Church, Portobello and Joppa Parish Church (Church of Scotland), St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Parish, St Mary Magdalene’s Roman Catholic Parish, St Mark’s Scottish Episcopal Church and Central Church Portobello Community,” Michelle says.

“Last year we met from July 16 to July 20, when 97 children and 14 youth helpers filled the halls at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church and the church and garden of St Mark’s. During the week, 51 volunteers took on various roles on the team. We were also supported by 18 additional volunteers who contributed baking, donated plants, helped with planning or registration, helped with training, managed our PVGs and safeguarding or helped with set up and clean up. We had an amazing team!

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE HOLIDAY CLUB MISSION The churches engaging with children during school holidays 'GOD'S GIFT TO THIS BEAUTIFUL, DAMAGED WORLD' Interview with Eco-Congregations Chaplain, the Rev David Coleman ASSEMBLY 2019 The week in words and pictures ...and much more