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Faith, Arts, Craft and Music - Forest of Dean
Easter 24th March – 3rd April 2016

24th March

After some long journeys, we all met at the Bells Hotel where we were shown to our rooms to unpack then met with past acquaintances and new friends.

We then set off to Christchurch for the Maundy Thursday Supper and foot washing. It was a lovely time with us all helping and serving each other. The evening concluded with drinks in the hotel bar and a talk about the week’s forthcoming plan and activities.

25th March

Faith Week 2016After breakfast, we visited the Tump for the Good Friday Service. We met lots of people we knew. After the Service, some of us went shopping followed by a visit to the Baptist Chapel for a drink and a hot cross bun. On the way back, we stopped at the County Market where we purchased food before heading to out for a picnic lunch at Beechenhurst.

After lunch, some of us went for a Forest walk, whilst others attended a Meditative Service at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Faith Week 2016Returning back at the hotel, we had a lovely dinner, then afterwards participated in craft work for our egg box beads and Tree of Life, made from newspaper.

26th March

After breakfast, we had Morning Prayer at the hotel followed by a talk about the Tree of Life and The Creation, presented by Peter Wade.
We made beads out of the mashed egg boxes and started on the Tree of Life branches.

In the afternoon, we went on a steam train and enjoyed a picnic lunch. We chugged up and down the countryside.
Returning back to the hotel, we had dinner before visiting Coleford to watch a candlelit performance of story-telling, music and singing.

Faith Week 201627th March – Easter Sunday

We went to the Good Shepherd Church to celebrate the Risen Christ. Cynthia was delighted that we sang Jesus Christ is risen today. We met lots of people who we knew. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for a carvery lunch. We then went to Gloucester Quays for shopping at a Spring Fair. We also had Welsh cakes for tea. In the evening, we ate pizza and watched a film before retiring to the bar for a welcome drink.

Faith Week 201628th March

This morning we had a talk about Adam and Eve and Temptation. Afterwards, we ventured into Coleford to the Carnival of Transport. We took lunch at the Baptist Church then went to see the model train layout, followed by shopping.
We returned to the hotel to finish painting the beads and the Tree of Life. We also drew pictures of animals to decorate the tree with.
In the evening, Glenda, who is taking the Sunday Service, came to meet us and we practised our dance.

Faith Week 201629th March

Some of us went home today, so we said our goodbyes to James, Jacintha and Theresa. Cynthia had also planned to leave, but instead decided to stay on!

Sarah paid us a visit, gave a talk, then we had a Service, followed by more practising.

Pat painted Bryony’s nails then we took lunch in the hotel bar area.

A little later on, we all went to the cinema to watch Zootropolis.

After returning to the hotel and having diner, the hotel hosted a quiz and bingo night. We took a nightcap in the bar before retiring to bed.

Faith Week 201630th March

We had an early start today as we visited Noah’s Ark Zoo, where we saw bears, elephants, tigers, lions, giraffe, ostrich, lemurs, meercats, zebras, rabbits, goats plus lots more. We took lunch in the café before returning back to the hotel.

For the evening, we enjoyed our 3 course dinner at the hotel before another practice session, including our dance, for our Service with Estelle.

Faith Week 201631st March

After breakfast, we had a talk from Mark about the significance of the cross and what it means for each of us. We were also joined by Avril, Ann and Terry. We made leaves from felt and paper for our tree. After all our hard work, we had a picnic lunch. We took a walk to the top of a hill with a fantastic viewpoint and made the most of the sunshine.

Returning back to the hotel, we had dinner and were joined by Mark and Sarah, followed by a lovely evening dancing and singing.

Faith Week 20161st April

After breakfast, Alan joined us and had a talk about The Resurrection, Jesus is Risen. We discussed what this meant for us and the rest of the world. Some of us practised our reading and then after coffee, we set off for St Fagan’s; a living working village museum located near Cardiff. Many of the houses featured old fireplaces and there was also c18th smithy and craftsmen showing off their traditional skills. We also visited an old-fashioned style sweet shop.

Returning to the hotel, our evening comprised dinner and entertainment provided by a Rod Stewart tribute show.

Faith Week 20162nd April

After breakfast, we remained at the hotel for the morning. We had a talk on the New Testament featuring The Book of Revelations, followed by an appraisal of our craft exhibition in readiness for our show. In the afternoon, we visited a lodge where we participated in brushing up on our cooking skills. After dinner we had a disco.

3rd April

After breakfast we made our way to the Church we had visited previously for the Maundy Thursday Service. We had helped Gloria with an Order of Worship and now it was our time to put this into practice!

Faith Week 2016After Gloria had welcomed everyone into the Church, Cynthia gave a reading then we all sang Oh What a Morning. This was then followed by a re-enactment of the story of the Road to Emmaus narrated by Anthony with help from Cynthia and Shannon playing the roles of the Disciples and Matthew starring as the stranger/Jesus. Everyone then participating in dancing around the Tree of Life to Peace is flowing like a river.

Matthew then followed with a reading, Anthony read his testimony and was then joined by Cynthia reading out prayers which they had composed. We all finished with a dance to We shall all go out with Joy.

We concluded with a buffet lunch before saying our goodbyes to friends old and new and departing on our homeward journeys.