Ghosts, fairies, skeletons, Ariel, Mickey Mouse and Father Brown were among many who brought their carved pumpkins to St Mark’s, Tattenham Corner for a Messy Halloween Service.
This was the first year the church held the event and it was full (just under 40 given the Covid restrictions). There were ghosts made from bed sheets of course, a witch on a broomstick, candles galore and even a smoke machine to create a suitable Halloween atmosphere. Crafts included masks, magic wands and jointed skeletons and the service explained the Celtic and Christian origins of All Hallows’ Eve with the help of a rap style video from 10ofthose.com followed by a quiz to make sure ‘the adults were listening’ and finished with some action prayers led by the vicar in the guise of Father Brown.
“We learned about Samhain, and the Celts holding a sort of harvest festival with a big bonfire to burn all the animal bones. The children would dress up and play tricks on the grownups and then the families took home some glowing embers in a carved out turnip to light their fire as a sign of the New Year coming” said Luke, one of the children dressed as a zombie.
The event was the idea of the vicar, Rev Des Williamson and Liz Townsend the Families worker who dressed as a mad surgeon complete with pliers and a saw to make sure people paid attention! “We wanted to reclaim Halloween and emphasise that Christ has conquered death and all things scary” said Rev Des. It was a challenge to do the event during Covid but Liz felt we needed to have some fun after the toll Covid has taken. The Messy Church team got into the spirit of it by dressing up too and other members of the congregation helped by carving 15 pumpkins to decorate the Church steps. The service ended with all the participants lighting their pumpkins and adding them to the display; there were over 40 altogether.