This week, running from Monday 27th to Friday 31st July has been Superhero activity week at St. Paul’s Lisburn. Every evening from 6:30- 8:30pm boys and girls of primary school age have been invited to come along and take part in a fantastic array of crafts, workshops drama and much more. The week of activities has been funded by the Festival Fund from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. Friday night is to be the culmination of the weeks’ events with a family fun night including BBQ, bouncy castles, face painting, storytelling and a host of other amazing family friendly activities. The Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh will be there to join in with the festivities!
Each evening, the children began with a hands-on activity, and had the chance to get creative –they made superhero masks and decorated biscuits and buns to name just a couple of the activities on offer. There was a drama each evening with a story that continued over the four nights- this year the theme was Superheroes! The two Superhero characters had to battle it out with their arch villain – “Mrs Very Very Bad Person”– until at last “Mrs Very Very Bad Person” saw the error of her ways and turned into Mrs Very Very Good Person! The drama was written by the “Play it by Ear” drama company. Chris Neilands who is the Youth and Family worker at St. Paul’s and Ross Jonas, are the two founding members of “Play it By Ear”. Ross is now working for the company fulltime and was involved in the Activity week each evening acting in the drama and also delivering drama workshops. There were 3 workshops each evening for the kids to join in with, including a football coaching session, a music and movement workshop and a drama workshop. The week was organized by Heather Carson who leads up the children’s work at St. Pauls, and Chris Neilands the youth and family worker. Both were ably assisted by a large group of volunteers many of which are very gifted and experienced at children’s and family ministry. Heather said, “This year we invited along our young people who are first year and up at secondary school to act as junior leaders and I have been really encouraged by how willing and helpful the young people had been.” Heather is passionate about equipping and training young people and empowering them to get involved in church ministries. Another first this year is the link with the Cedar Foundation; an organization which supports and empowers children and adults with disabilities throughout Northern Ireland. Three young people with physical disabilities came along to the activity week with their support workers from Cedar. A sensory room was set up so that the 3 young people could access it when needed throughout the evening. Heather said it was a really positive experience for all involved and hopes the link with the Cedar Foundation will continue to grow. Rev. Jim Carson, St. Paul’s rector said their aim at St. Paul’s was to reach out to the local community and be a welcoming and relevant church. The week long event offered local families fun, high quality activities for their children in a safe environment with dedicated and caring adults. Jim said “This is the second year we have hosted the activity week in such a big way. The average number of children coming along each night is 112 children and we are hopeful that we will see everyone back on Friday night with their parents at the Fun evening”. Last year there were 260 people along on the Friday night and this year, despite the weather, there could be even more!! See St. Paul’s Facebook page for loads of fantastic photos of the weeks’ events at https://www.facebook.com/stpaulschurchlisburn