Beach Mission draws the Crowds
An outreach for children and young people on Sheringham sea-front last week was a double success.
Not only did the BeachLife outreach attract a higher than expected number of youngsters - it served to deepen the relationships between the churches in the Norfolk town.
The churches stepped into the breach following the cancellation of the Scripture Union Beach Mission in Sheringham, which had been running for 100 years. Forty volunteers from those churches ran the mission, with support by Scripture Union, and it was organised by Pete Skivington, who heads up the youth work at Sheringham Baptist Church.
They were expecting 100 people, but in the end 140 young people and children participated.
The activities kicked off each day with the Beach Special, where all ages came together at the cliff-top marquee on The Lees for music, games, drama and fun, and to introduce the day's theme.
The afternoons saw a build a boat challenge on the Sheringham boating lake, mini-Olympics at the High School and a tide fight on the beach. Rain and wind failed to deter the crowds from building defences against the incoming tide, but the youngsters were forced to retreat to the nearby Burlington Hotel when the winds became gale-force, leaving the leaders to save the marquee.
The weather improved greatly for the circus-themed afternoon with barbecue on the last day, however.
Evening activities for over-11s included a treasure hunt around the town, swimming and a quiz and chips evening, all of which were well attended.
'BeachLife has been a huge success on two levels really,' said Pete. 'Large numbers of children and young people have had loads of fun whilst finding out more about God, and feedback has been extremely positive, with many people asking when next year's BeachLife would be, so that they can plan their holidays in Sheringham.
'But on another level, we have developed the partnership that already existed between the churches in Sheringham, and intend to build on this for next year's BeachLife as well as in the coming years.'
Next year's mission will run from Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 August 2013. But Sheringham youngsters will not have to wait until next summer to continue the fun, as the team are already planning for other events to take place in the town throughout the year.