Jenny Sturtevant recounts an action-packed weekend
During the October half term holiday in 2018, 15 young people and 5 adults made their way to Carroty Wood in Kent. Carroty Wood is part of Rock UK, a Christian organization that encourages young people to discover capabilities they didn’t know they had through outdoor adventures such as abseiling and raft building. This is exactly what the young people from St Alban’s, South Norwood, St Augustine’s, Belvedere and St Michael’s, Abbey Wood did—they abseiled (some doing it Spiderman style), built rafts and tested them on the open water, practised their archery skills and swung on high ropes. The priests, Fr Philip Kennedy (on loan from St Michael’s Croydon), Fr Clive Jones and Fr David Sherratt looked on in admiration! As did Barry Terry and Jenny Sturtevant, churchwardens from St Alban’s, who were in charge of the catering. The theme of the stay was ‘Real Presence: Word, Sacrament, Witness.’ Daily Mass was followed by the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. The young people participated in a very practical and creative afternoon workshop, led by Fr Philip Barnes, Priest Missioner for Fulham that explored the essence of the Eucharist. During this workshop they took part in their own Carroty Wood Bake Off and their challenge was to decorate a muffin to show their idea of the Kingdom of Heaven. One or two of the ‘bakers’ even received a Hollywood handshake! They also had to carve a religious symbol into a pumpkin which was then lit following the traditional Carroty Wood campfire. Grants from the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and the Croydon Episcopal Area Mission Fund generously sponsored the event.
Jenny Sturtevant is churchwarden at St Alban’s, South Norwood
in the Diocese of Southwark