Open up those 2017 diaries and make a date for Saturday 20 May when the whole URC is invited to enjoy The Big Day Out, organised by Pilots, at Warwick Castle.
This is a festival for all ages where activities will run from 10am to 5pm in the historic and beautiful setting. Individuals and groups, with their church communities and wider family and friends, are all welcome to be part of what promises to be a day to remember.
Tickets include access to the castle and attractions where Big Day Out visitors can have a go at archery, watch birds of prey in flight, take part in worship with hundreds of others, listen to influential and engaging speakers and workshop leaders (including including John Proctor, our General Secretary, Neil Thorogood, Principal of Westminster College, Paul Northup of the Greenbelt Festival, representatives from the Christian Aid Collective, representatives from Messy Church and Wayne Hawkins of CWM to name but a few), visit the beautiful conservatory tea house, relax in the peacock garden, and enjoy a celebratory picnic.
Hugely popular Big Days Out have previously been held at a wide range of settings, include Cadbury World, Legoland, West Midland Safari Park – and Warwick Castle. Next year’s event will form part of the United Reformed Church’s 2017 theme of Feast and Festivals, and organisers have asked as many church groups as possible to bring a colourful banner on the day!
Ticket prices are:
17 and over, £16.50 per person
Four to 16 years, £11 per person
Under four, free
Merlin Pass Holders, free (but let us know you're coming so we have enough goodies for you!)
There is one FREE adult place for every 10 paid child places. Each group or family will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the event, and car parking charges at Warwick Castle will be in the region of £9 per car. Groups wishing to make a weekend of the trip can be put in contact with one of the local churches which has offered to host groups overnight.
Booking forms, available from your local chruch secretary or, alternatively, the Feasts and Festivals Desk at email@example.com (020 7916 8637), should be returned as soon as possible, but no later than 31 March 2017.
Booking packs, with advertising materials and forms, were sent to all churches this week – so ask your minister, or church secretary for more information – perhaps you could write a piece for the church newsletter or even offer to create a Big Day Out display for your church!
Early in 2017, Big Day Out-ers will receive URC Feasts and Festivals material with activities and games to help them explore the event theme. By the middle of April, participants will have tickets, an information guide about the event, travel game sheets (for use on the journey), a ‘special edition’ URC Feasts and Festivals badge – and a duffel bag to use on the day.
The URC’s base for the day will be the Pageant Field. On this expansive piece of land, overlooking the river, a number of influential speakers from various groups, will occupy various gazebos, creating a festival space. In this space, good news and stories will be shared of the role which feasts, festivals and celebration play in sharing the love, understanding, hope and peace of the Kingdom of God, both within the URC and beyond. The main topics for exploration will be 'Come Dine with the URC: Who should the URC invite to the dinner table?' and 'The Worlds Got Talent: What is there to celebrate in the world today?', two fascinating questions which will be unpacked in many different ways by the diverse group of speakers, workshop leaders and visitors.
For more information, contact your local church secretary or, alternatively, the Feasts and Festivals Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org (020 7916 8637).
Image: © Warwick Castle