Blessing locals and building community
For the past couple of years, Meadgate Church has been working with the Chelmsford Housing Partnership and local businesses to invest in the area and provide an annual community fun day.
Meadgate Church is situated in the corner of a parade of shops on an estate in Chelmsford. With input from Meadgate Primary School, local police, fire department and other charities and businesses from the immediate area, they come together to provide a day to bless the residents of Meadgate Estate.
Previous years have seen sporting events, dance, cadets and information stands on anything from recycling to sexual health. The school and a local youth choir get involved and the church hosts the free barbecue, opening the building for refreshments, arts and crafts and a games hall. The Indian take-away on one end of the parade offers free food tasting; the Co-op contributes to the barbecue.
This year the Meadgate Festival is being brought forward a month to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee and the celebrations will be held on Sunday, 3 June. The day will start with a short service in the church and then it will open out into the shopping parade. There will be a strong Jubilee theme with bunting, a themed fancy dress parade and a cake baking competition. Red, white and blue will be everywhere with games such as an egg and spoon race and treasure hunts about the Queen’s life to keep the children engaged. They plan to screen the live Jubilee coverage on a big screen in the church and have a huge timeline with displays significant historic events of the last 60 years.
Jackie Thornton, one of the organisers, said: “The whole point is that it is of no cost to the community and we don’t fundraise at all. Our festival exists purely to link with local businesses, schools and community groups and, as a result, do something fun and free for Meadgate estate residents and wider. We are motivated to do this because we want to show people that we love them dearly because God loves us. The Jubilee is a great excuse for a party too.”