Churches Easter celebrations
CLIFF Park Community Church's Easter celebrations took a dramatic turn on Sunday. The Gorleston church had planned to stage the service in the open air on the town's new seafront bandstand, but heavy rain forced them to take to the stage of the nearby Pavilion Theatre.
CLIFF Park Community Church's Easter celebrations took a dramatic turn on Sunday.
The Gorleston church had planned to stage the service in the open air on the town's new seafront bandstand, but heavy rain forced them to take to the stage of the nearby Pavilion Theatre. And the resulting last minute cafe style church service was voted a big success.
Cliff Park was started ten years ago by St Andrew's Parish and Gorleston Baptist churches working together. They meet at Cliff Park Junior School near the James Paget Hospital. But for the first time it was decided to take the Easter celebration outdoors and provide the bandstand with its first ever service.
The bandstand was given to the town by the Gorleston Rotary Club and was built in the centre of Pier Gardens on the seafront just under a year ago. The Tourist Authority had agreed to let the church use it and had provided seating and a power supply. The church's set-up team were on site early on Easter Sunday to organise sound equipment and the worship band.
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After two days of warm sunshine over the weekend, and a big turnout for the Churches Together March of Witness on Good Friday, everything was looking good by 8.30am.
“It was a bit misty and chilly and the air was damp but it seemed ok” said one of the Cliff Park set up team. “We'd even put up a large gazebo tent for the sound desk. But by 9am things took a turn for the worst, the rain began and it was clearly setting in for the morning. We had to go for plan B.”
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Stuart Durrant and Kevin Lynch who run the Pavilion opposite the bandstand had always said the theatre could be used as a back up in case of bad weather. Fortunately they were already in the building, clearing up from the previous night's performance.
They willingly opened up and everything was transferred into the theatre in record time, in readiness for the 10.30am start. A large Cliff Park banner was put up outside and the theatre's coffee bar opened up for refreshments throughout the service.
The event, which included a puppet show from the church's young people and was led by the worship band, attracted a large number of people.
The minister, the Rev Mike Simm, thanked the theatre's staff for coming to the rescue and said the service had worked well in the Edwardian venue. People seemed to enjoy the atmosphere. Kevin Lynch said they were very happy to provide the theatre and to see it being put to use by the community in this way.