Over 60 people from around the UK registered for GCI’s autumn Celebration at Bridlington’s Spa, East Yorkshire’s premier conference venue. This was a change in venue for us this year and the new facilities exactly fitted all our requirements. The splendid view from the meeting hall,looking out onto the sea, was matched by the magnificent service provided to us by the Spa’s staff.
Sermons centred on the theme for all our celebrations this year: grasping the enormity of Christ’s love for us, from Ephesians 3:17-18, and that as we are overwhelmed by his love it should flow on out from us in love to one another. These sermons were supplemented by a range of interactive seminars which included sessions on the church in the centuries following the Apostolic period, healthy church, and the importance of rejoicing in the Lord. Social activities included a games afternoon, a film about C.S. Lewis, and the ever-popular quiz evening and musical soiree.
A particular highlight during the week was the blessing of David and Helen Francis’ granddaughter. It was lovely to have her parents Anise and Josh present and to be able to Zoom the service for those who couldn’t attend.
There was a wonderfully positive and warm atmosphere that pervaded the celebration this year as everyone enjoyed getting together to worship and fellowship after 18 months of not being able to meet physically.
As long-time minister David Bedford commented, ‘we had a great time in Bridlington [it was] the most enjoyable and profitable one I have experienced, this being my 63 one.’ It was also pleasing to hear from the Spa’s events manager that we ‘were a delight to work with and we all look forward to you coming again next year.’
My thanks go out to everyone who attended and served in so many ways to make the celebration a truly wonderful experience and, speaking of next year, the Spa has been booked for our 2022 Celebration from Friday 9 September to Monday 12 September. We are planning a full programme on all four days so if you are thinking of coming it would be good to book accommodation from Thursday 8th September to Tuesday 13th September. I look forward to seeing you there.
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