A couple of weeks ago I (Elizabeth) visited Pantasaph, near Holywell in north Wales, to take part in the annual Advent Family Fun Day organised by the Diocesan Commission for Marriage and Family Life. It was my first visit to Pantasaph and rather worryingly, once off the A55, my satnav led me up a very steep hill towards a field in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully a little further on I found the sign pointing towards the Pilgrims Hall….
I had gone with the main intention of interviewing Commission members about their funded Celebrating Family project but I was curious to find out more about this event, having seen photos of previous year’s activity. Inside the hall I found a large number of families and children from various parishes across the diocese, all very busy at different tables experiencing different craft activities all themed for Advent: wreath making, decorated biscuits, hanging lantern decorations and so forth. View the film clip for a better idea of the activities and the atmosphere.
This is the third year the Commission have organised such an event and judging by the noise and excited participation, it was, yet again, extremely successful. I met one lady who had brought the whole children’s liturgy group from her parish and also a young mother, there for the second year running because she had found that the event offered her, her husband and her very young children an opportunity to engage happily together in something that was both fun and faith-related. In making the decision to prioritise the fun day this couple were making memories for their children, building relationships with other families who share their values and creating items that would provide food for thought and on-going conversation at home for years to come.
I was especially impressed with the quality of the craft activities and the buzz around the hall as everyone obviously had a very good time. The Fun Day concluded with Mass celebrated by Bishop Edwin, during which Pauline Stanway, one of the Commission members was congratulated on recently completing her MA studies in Leadership for Family Ministry and Faith Formation.