"Preparing for Easter" ActiviTEA
Once a month, the DBC evening service is an afternoon service followed by a scrumptious afternoon tea. Quite enough excitement, you'd think, but the March 2019 Tea Service had more up its sleeve: it was an ActiviTEA!
Its theme "Preparing for Easter" was brought to life not only in the usual singing, prayers and reflections on Scripture, but in hands-on activities helping us to meditate on the meaning of Easter, and on spring as it symbolises new life. We made Easter cards, paper daffodils and a variety of Easter gardens (some of which turned out to harbour rather more life than intended in the shape of woodlice and ants which had hitched a ride on the moss…)
It was a lovely time of fellowship and creativity – and cake, of course, with the Tea that followed!
|Creating an Easter Garden||The completed garden||A bit of help making a card||Spring has sprung with hand-made daffodils|
|A chat after successful daffodil-making||Two interpretations of a garden||And a third one||A bit of spring to take home|
Dutch baking workshop
On your marks, get set, bake! Exotic (well, Dutch) baking came to Dunchurch. Intrepid bakers learnt to make two types of cakes/cookies filled with Dutch almond paste: Gevulde Koek ("filled cookie") and Gevulde Speculaas ("filled spiced cake"). At the end they had six cookies to take home (those that hadn't been eaten with the celebratory mug of tea that closed the workshop…)
|The kitchen is set up||The first dough has been made||Putting the spiced cakes together||All made by hand!|
|Fierce concentration||Ready for the oven||Gevulde koeken (with spare biscuits)||Gevulde speculaas, smelling like Christmas|
Spring 2019: share seeds, help pot them up, take some home to look after, and perhaps in a few months' time we can have a plant share! Green fingers and black fingernails all around in aid of the Building Fund.
|The seeds are laid out for sharing||Get them started young!||Preparing the trays||"I'll put some … there"|
|Picking seeds||Planting||Ready to take home||Gardeners' question time|
Starters & Puds for Angel Tree
Angel Tree partners with churches to make sure children who have a parent in prison don't miss out on Christmas presents. But to do that, funds are needed. Cue Starters & Puds for Angel Tree!
Embellished embroidery workshop
In May and June two groups of ladies (still no gentlemen!) came to DBC to have a go at embellished embroidery in aid of the Building Fund. And I think you'll agree they did very well!
|Getting together to stitch||Helping out a fellow stitcher||Sustaining tea and biscuits|
|Ruth's butterfly wreath||…and Catherine's…||…and Rachel's|
Nothing quite warms you up in a cold January like a good curry! And there were plenty of choices on offer on the Building Fund curry evening.
|An Indian welcome||The tables are set||The curries are ready||The diners are ready, too!|
|Fellowship and food||Curries for all ages||Chatting and chutney||Going for seconds|
Sometimes one picture is enough to capture an event or activity! Here are a few from 2016.
|"We are the building!" Everyone contributed a brick, everyone is part of it.||Holiday at Home Strawberry Tea||"Guess the Weight of the Truck" for the Building Fund||A Christmas tree decorated with our Thank Yous to God|
Tactile embroidery workshops
On Saturday 29th October and 5th & 12 November 2016 thirty-two ladies in total got busy on their Christmas cards – or one of their Christmas cards at least. Chunky Christmas wreaths embellished with beads and ribbon got us all in the mood for the Festive Season!
|Most of the wreaths were turned into cards||The beading stage requires a lot of concentration||Cups of tea help things along||Some of the wreath will become Christmas tree ornaments|
Freestyle embroidery workshop
Saturday 14th May 2016 – 12 ladies, with 12 colours of thread and two needles each, had a go at freestyle embroidery to create a little wildflower garden (with bee). One of them very kindly brought scones to sell for the Building Fund, which led to some delays with munching rather than stitching going on, but no-one complained about this. Then on 25th June, another 9 gardens were created, this time accompanied by cake. Who knows what the July workshop will bring!
There will be more workshops in the future; perhaps a gentlemen or two might like to join in? After all, if you can use a precision screwdriver a needle should hold no terrors for you!
|Fierce concentration||A relaxing cup of tea||Great progress||A swarm of bees|
|Ready for the troops||Tea, cake and stitching||Nearly finished||Action shot, courtesy of Ruth|
Previously Loved Sale
On Saturday 9th April 2016 people could come and browse many stalls containing previously loved items. It was great to see several of these toys, clothes, and pieces of equipment finding a new place in which to be useful! There were some not-previously-loved cuddly toys as well – not previously loved because they had only just been crocheted; fortunately most of them found a home where they will no doubt be cuddled to within an inch of their lives. Oh, and did I mention the cake stall…?
|A great range of stalls||Toys and shoes||Clothes and carrycots|
|Crocheted cuddly toys||And of course cakes (and fruit)|
Holiday At Home Christmas Tea & Entertainment
Christmas came early to DBC in 2015 – on 28th November people gathered to enjoy afternoon tea in a seasonal atmosphere, with a quiz, a Christmas cake, music, and a personalised bauble to take home.
|Oh Christmas Tree…||Cakes & Quiz||A bit of help||Music|
|Singing||And more singing!||Personalised baubles||Christmas cake (photographed just too late)|
Christmas Craft Fair
On Saturday 7th November 2015 DBC hosted another Craft Fair, this time Christmas-themed – lots of different crafts to see and buy, some Christmas-themed themselves (like personalised baubles), some making great Christmas presents and stocking fillers (like hand-decorated glasses, ornaments made from books, crocheted animals and embroidered coasters and bookmarks). And of course there was the cake stall, and the indefatigable refreshments team providing everyone with hot drinks and more.
|Embroidered presents||Fabric-covered books and boxes||Personalised keyrings|
|Home-made fudge, toffee and lavender bags||Silent auction||Decorated glasses|
|Crocheted animals||Cakes||The refreshments team|
On Saturday 21st March 2015 Danielle and Ghassan and friends welcomed people to an Arabic food event. Visitors enjoyed dips, breads and salads, several main courses including a spectacular upside down dish, and lovely sweet puddings, water melon and cardamom coffee to finish.
|An Arabic welcome||Setting the table||Plenty of choice||Make yourself comfortable|
|Do we start this end…||…or this end?||Enjoying starters and salads||That's how you turn it|
|Will it work?||The moment of truth||Fruit and some sweeter things|
On Sunday 14th December the old, familiar Christmas story was retold by the children of DBC, including a visitor. As two of them read to us, the others added to the tableau which grew from a solitary manger to the full set of Mary and Joseph (with baby), star, angels, shepherd (with sheep), and wise men (with gifts).
|The two readers tell the story||The complete Nativity scene|
Murder comes to DBC
Following on from the very successful Midwynter Murder Mystery, a detective once again stalked the rooms and corridors of DBC. Visitors to a fictional college reunion enjoyed a three-course dinner while helping Inspector I. B. Clueless solve a series of Murders at St Martin's – and raising money for the Building Fund at the same time!
Noah's Ark's 21st Birthday
On Saturday 13th September DBC hosted a 21st birthday party for Noah's Ark. Doesn't time fly? It's hard to believe that some of the first toddlers to attend are now in their mid-twenties…
|Celebrating 21 years||Do you remember?||Find the celebratory message||A birthday needs a cake|
|Fundraising for the new building||Noah and Mrs Noah||Special Noah's Ark moments||A commemorative tree of thumb marks|
Becca's Jukebox concert
On Saturday 12th July the Oakfield Social Club played host to a concert with a varied programme. Becca, who had organised the concert as well, treated us to songs from the musicals; Clive turned out to be DBC's answer to Bob Dylan, and later sang folk songs with Mary (with appropriate sea, wind and seagull noises made by the audience); Michael and Barbara gave us the story of the DBC building to the tune of The Ash Grove; Katie and her friend Ruth played a quatre-mains and then joined with Georgia and Mackie for a very special rendition of Go Down Moses. There was also a music quiz, and oh, did I mention the cakes? A very successful evening!
|Pre-concert chat in a festively decorated hall||Enjoying the concert||One man, two instruments||One instrument, two women|
|The story of the DBC building in song||All together now!||Becca's musical selection|
Hardanger embroidery workshops
On Saturday 28th June and Saturday 5th July thirteen brave ladies (and where were you, gentlemen? You can hold a needle, you know!) prepared to cut holes in their carefully stitched embroidery in aid of the Building Fund. Don't worry, this was no act of wanton vandalism, but a Norwegian needlework technique known as Hardanger. None of them had ever tried this type of stitching before, and yet at the end of two hours some beautiful needlebooks had been produced – great work everyone!
|A craft for all ages||Anna's needlebook||Tea and biscuits for sustenance|
|Claire's needlebook||The final touches||Linda's needlebook|
DBC anniversary picnic
On Sunday 15th June we celebrated DBC's 180th birthday – imagine the candles on THAT cake! That might have been a bit of a fire hazard, so we had a church family picnic instead. The sun didn't put in much of an appearance, but even so two brave souls entered the pool; other sporting activities included volleybal, bowls, and some of the most energetic bubble-blowing I have ever witnessed. And of course there was plenty of opportunity for food and fellowship in Steve & Hilary's lovely garden.
|Making a splash||Can you reach?||Revising at the picnic||The church family|
|A big big bubble||TWO big bubbles!||Anyone for volleyball?||Exercise among the flowers|
|The food's nearly all gone||Time for a gentle game||Who's closest?||Observing all the activity|
Ascot comes to DBC, June 2014
As part of Holiday at Home, Ascot came to DBC, with a quiz, tea, and hats to outdo the Royal Enclosure!
|Picking the winner||Keeping an eye on the field||Lots to talk about|
|A fine filly!||Horse play|
Men's Breakfast, June 2014
The Men's Breakfast was once again well attended by men of all generations, enjoying food and fellowship. Andy Mayo from Hoveraid gave the after-breakfast talk this time, about the great things that can happen when men get together and open up to each other and inspire each other while working on a project. Judging by the fact that at least two-thirds of the breakfasters stayed chatting (sorry, exchanging exciting new ideas) long after the food had been cleared away, we should be expecting wonderful things in the near future!
|Cereal and conversation to start with||Toast and more conversation||And after the Full English…||…a talk about Men Getting Together|
Sponsored walk/run/ride/pram-push around Draycote Water
Fervent prayer held the predicted downpour at bay, and there was even the occasional ray of sunshine as many brave people made their way around a windy Draycote Water. There were families walking round the reservoir, some of the smallest members having the luxury of doing the route in a push chair (and dozing off now and then), there was Ann the Nordic Walker, Steve jogged two laps, lots of people went round on bicycles of varying ages and levels of equipment, and a special mention is due to Chris and Mary who, ably assisted by Beverley, took their mother around in her wheelchair. Nikki was fortunately not needed in her capacity as First Aider, but with Carla looked after the tired walkers/cyclers/pushers as they returned, reviving them with tea, coffee, squash and enormous quantities of cake.
|A cheerful start||You have to walk, I don't||Who needs wheels?||We do!|
|The organiser joins in||A windswept marshall||A family effort||Ministering angels|
Art & Craft Fair
Paintings (and even a live painter!), knitwear, nappy cakes, embroidery, jewellery, printed mugs, cards, fabric-covered books – it would probably be easier to say what you couldn't find at Mary's Art & Craft Fair! People came to view, browse, and buy, and one couple even got some of their Christmas shopping done; how's that for being organised…
Are cakes Art or Craft? Whatever they were, they were very popular, as were Lesley and Hannah's quiche lunches; just the thing to regain your strength after all that arduous browsing.
|There was jewellery…||…and embroidery||And cakes, of course!||And lots,||lots more.|
Popcorn, Candyfloss & Games Party
On 26th April 2014 Steve, Jessie and Sue organised a wonderful drop-in-when-you-can party where two ducks produced popcorn, people could spin their own candyfloss (well, dentists always tell us to floss more often!), and everyone could join in old-fashioned and modern games. Even the cakes were game-themed, with domino shortbread, Scrabble brownies and Snakes & Ladders cakes. And if you thought that this would appeal to the young only, think again…
|Young and old enjoy the party||Overseeing the candyfloss production||Popcorn ducks||Anyone for dominoes?||Yum!|
Ladies' Breakfast, April 2014
We all know that the ladies cook the Men's Breakfast with love, lots and lots of love – but a Saturday in April showed us that the men cook the Ladies' Breakfast with love and fresh flowers adorning the tables and fresh fruit and sides of grilled tomatoes and mushrooms and potato waffles. They are stunners, our men! Lesley had provided every place setting with a verse or inspirational quotation, some of which turned out to be wondrously appropriate. And as usual it was lovely to see such a wide range of ages come together for food and fellowship.
|The tables are set – beautifully!||The ladies arrive, both the very young and the more mature||Start with the essentials: tea and coffee||Some of the chefs at work|
Midwynter Murders at DBC
On 8th February 2014, on the same day as a Men's Breakfast enlivened by a guest making the most astonishing train noises (and telling us how trains and journeys were relevant to our faith), the Thursday Evening Small Group, together with some volunteers, organised a Murder Mystery Evening (with three-course dinner) in aid of the Church Building Fund. Everything was perfectly done, by the actors, by the young people on waiters' duty, and by the talented cooks providing and serving the food. The two latter groups managed to escape being photographed, but here are the Mystery's main characters: Lorna Lovelace, Lady Lavish, Cllr. Maxine Power, Carol Singer, Rev. Neil Down, Phil Pockets, the Master (or Mistress?) of Ceremonies, Det. Insp. Barney Bee, and Gerri Bilda (otherwise known as Miranda, Chris, Claire, Julie, Tony, Dave, Barbara, Michael and Ghassan).
Harvest Celebration 2013
Gifts of food for
Hope4 and the Foodbank
|Setting the table||Enjoying food…||…and fellowship|
Christmas Craft Event 2012
The annual Christmas Craft Event was held once again at Dunchurch Junior School on 24th November. A record number of children attended, and decorated biscuits, painted glass jars, stitched sparkly star ornaments, made Christmas crackers, created cards, visited the World of Difference stall – there was almost too much to do, and the parents were often having as much fun as the children!
|Making real Christmas crackers||Decorating baubles …||… and gift bags …||… and jars|
|Stitch a star||Look what I made!||A whole range of crafts||The World of Difference stall|
Starters & Puds
When Sue thought of organising a meal to raise money for the Angel Tree charity, she came up with an idea that was sheer genius – forget about the main course, what most people want is starters & puds, and lots of them! She was proved absolutely right: a great number of self-sacrificing people were happy to enjoy a wide variety of delicious dishes in congenial company, and the donation box expanded almost as much as the waistlines of those present.
|A welcoming spread …||… with something for everyone||
Sharing a pud
and a chat
Holiday at Home 2012 – Table-top Olympics
Holiday at Home came to DBC for Olympic fish & chips. The guests were arranged in "sports" (Rowers, Weightlifters, Swimmers etc.) and joined in quizzes and games such as darts (or archery, in Olympic terms) and sailing (by blowing a floating ping pong ball around two obstacles using straws). Once again the Bowes' musical interlude was one of the highlights of the afternoon!
|The tables are set||A warm-up game||
were around to help
|The Olympic flame arrives|
|Table-top sailing||… and archery||
Music with a
|Medals for the winners|
Drama as part of the Sunday service
Sometimes in the morning service you may find yourself playing a memory game (to check if you've listened to the story) or participating in a quiz (which makes a point that is later picked up in the sermon). And if you're really lucky, you might get asked to take part in some drama! One Sunday in August the theme was Peter's escape from prison. Ten volunteers (Peter, soldier 1, soldier 2, sentry 1, sentry 2, Christian 1, Christian 2, Rhoda, angel, gate, door) were instructed by Dave about their part, and brought the story of Peter to life.
The soldiers receive
The sentries stand guard
by the gate
The Christians pray
behind closed doors
An angel comes
to set Peter free
Men's Breakfast July 2012
Breakfasts are coming thick and fast this year – a mere three months after the last one, the DBC men could once again bring sons and friends along to enjoy a Full English and a chat (sorry, that's "deep meaningful discussion"). They were tactful enough not to remark on the absence of flowers and printed menus … (see the Ladies' Breakfast last May)
|Food & fellowship||Second helpings||After-breakfast talk|
Church Anniversary June 2012
This year during the Church Anniversary All Age Service we looked especially at all the things we were grateful for. We found that God has done many things in the past year but most of us were particularly grateful for the love and fellowship which he gives us within the church and the various small groups. Very appropriate then that part of the morning's message was about how we are all part of the same body – a message illustrated by some reconstructive surgery (as you can see in the first picture).
The service was to have been followed by a picnic at Draycote Water, but because of the typical summer weather (damp and chilly) it was decided that the back hall would probably be a more comfortable location!
Ladies' Breakfast May 2012
After last month's excellent Men's Breakfast the men of DBC (well, three of them anyway) decided to provide an even more splendid Ladies' Breakfast: flowers on every table, fresh fruit salad, home-made jam and a proper Full English – when the ladies came in after their Saturday walk they were most impressed, not least by the chefs' outfits!
|The three chefs||The tables are laid …||
with flowers and
Lazer's Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Evening
Straws and paper umbrellas at the ready for the only cocktail party where you're likely to get three of your five-a-day!
Men's Breakfast April 2012
It had been a while since the last Men's Breakfast on account of a troublesome oven, but now the kitchen (and some of the DBC ladies) were ready to once more provide a nourishing meal. Afterwards Richard's friend Gary provided food for thought with his testimony.
|One lump or two?||One slice or two?||All-age breakfast||Enjoying a full English|
DBC Weekend Away 2012
DBC-ers of all ages enjoyed a weekend of fellowship, games, worship, study, fun, and terror (on the big swing).
Maundy Thursday Passover supper
On Maundy Thursday the combined churches of Dunchurch held a bring-and-share Passover supper at which we learnt a lot about the meaning of the various foods and cups of wine. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Last Supper and have fellowship with each other.
The Seder plate in the last picture is not the one we used, but gives an idea of the various parts of the ceremony.
2012 DBC Spring Clean
Sometimes the church needs a bigger clean than usual, and then it's all hands on deck! But fortunately all the scrubbing, weeding, painting, tidying and decluttering don't go unrewarded – besides the virtuous glow of a job well done, the workers were treated to cake.
|Decluttering||Plenty of cleaning materials!||Tidying up the new hatch||The workers' reward|
Holiday at Home 2011 – a visit to the DBC seaside
Holiday at Home came to DBC for fish & chips and seaside entertainment – all together now: "O I do like to be beside the seaside …" The guests were arranged in "resorts", and the Skegness table did particularly well at the quizzes. Everyone was in fine voice when joining in with the singing, accompanied by Mike on the accordion, and the Bowes' musical interlude was much appreciated!
are better than one
|Pre-lunch mental exercise||The guests find their resorts||Seaside entertainment|
|Making friends||The goody-bag lady||Time to go home||Making the paper|
Holiday Club 2011 – Mission: Rescue
We all went undercover this summer, learning more about Moses, doing crafts, breaking codes, participating in challenges, singing, making disguises, and watching the adventures of Agents 1, 2 and A. You can see lots more pictures on the Holiday Club page!
|The Undercover Agents reveal themselves||Communication training: sending messages by plane||Shrunken Agents enjoying their crafts||Spy Masters & Agents in disguise|
Ladies' Walk – Alpaca Open Day
On Saturday 6th August Toft Alpacas held their 5th Anniversary Open Day with alpaca craft activities and farm tours. The Ladies' Walk usually passes the alpaca farm anyway (and its members have become quite friendly with some of the furry herd), so the group decided to drop in there for a visit. The Coventry Weavers, Spinners & Dyers were showing off their skills using alpaca fleeces, and there was an opportunity to try felting which several of our walkers had a go at. We were also introduced to yarn bombing – a sort of removable graffiti in crochet or knitting which unfortunately we forgot to photograph!
|Spinning the alpaca wool||Carding is an art…||…and so is felting||How alpacas are made|
DBC outing – Twycross Zoo
On Saturday 2nd July a coach full of DBC-ers and Noah's Ark-ers set off for Twycross Zoo. We saw the monkeys and apes, watched the sea lions and penguins being fed, saw the elephants do their training, and had a lovely picnic lunch under the trees. It was a wonderful day out for all ages – our diverse group ranged from those who haven't had a single birthday yet to those who are approaching their 90th!
|Lunch for the sea lions …||and for the penguins||Spot the otters!||A refreshing picnic|
Baptism of Dewi Parsons
During the evening service of Sunday 22nd May we celebrated the baptism of Dewi Parsons. The youth band played, and Dewi witnessed to his faith, speaking of baptism as a commitment you choose when you love God.
|Dewi's testimony||Getting ready||Answering questions||Going under||Prayer|
Baptism of Russ & Emma, and Church Lunch
On Sunday 3rd April 2011 there was a busy morning service – Mothering Sunday, the baptism of Russ & Emma Pollard, and a Church Lunch. Russ & Emma shared their testimonies with us, telling us of their personal journeys of faith, and the importance of the church family.
|Russell's testimony||Emma & assistant||Testing the water||Going under|
|Getting ready||Being baptised||Prayer|
|The feast is spread||Sharing a meal||What's for pudding?||An after-pudding chat|
Youth Band service
On Sunday 13th March 2011 the DBC Youth Band led worship during the evening service.
The 2nd Annual Ladies' Breakfast
Saturday 12th March 2011 saw the second Ladies' Breakfast, cooked by the gentlemen – well, five of them. And once again they surpassed the ladies' expectations: flowers on every table, a printed menu, attentive service and wonderful food. Whether or not the ladies can live up to these standards at the next Men's Breakfast remains to be seen!
|The tables are laid||Breakfast is served||The team – didn't they do well!|
Dave Woods' birthday
On Sunday 6th March there was a Church Tea to introduce our 40 Days of Purpose programme for Lent. But unbeknownst to DBC's minister Dave Woods it was also a Birthday Tea for him! Sally's special cake was much admired by all.
|The birthday boy||The cake|
On Sunday 12th December the children presented their Nativity, and as always they did a splendid job – the narrator told us everything that was happening in a very clear voice, the characters spoke their lines beautifully, and we were given a regal rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". It was a wonderful re-telling of the familiar story, and got everyone in the Christmas spirit!
|Lighting the Advent Candle||Narrator and Angel play their part||No room at the inn||Twinkle twinkle|
Baptism of Kate Gooch
On Sunday 5th December Kate Gooch was baptised. She shared the story of her spiritual journey, of people and verses that had inspired her, and she used a cheese fondue to illustrate how faith envelops and surrounds us!
|Kate witnesses to her faith||Preparing for the baptism||Dave Woods baptises Kate|
Meals at DBC
Having a meal together is a great way to catch up on things and get to know each other better – but if a meal like that is not for just a few friends but for anyone who'd like to come, how do you make sure there isn't one poor soul who spends the entire day in the kitchen?
Well, you could have a Bring & Share Church Lunch, which follows some of our Sunday morning services. Many thanks to all who bring food along, to all who help set everything up and clear it away again afterwards, and to all who come to enjoy these communal meals.
|The food is set out||Filling the plates||Seconds, anyone?||Sharing a meal|
Other meals are the Men's Breakfasts (cooked by the women) and in response to that a Women's Brunch (cooked by the men). And sometimes (English summer weather permitting) we take everything to Draycote Water and have a picnic!
|The blankets are spread||Ball games||Anything left in the cool bag?|
The DBC Egg Challenge
Several recent Easter services have been enlivened by a very special take on the Easter egg – can you make your egg into a Bible character, using as much information as possible from the Bible, and make it possible but difficult for all the other DBC-ers to guess which character it is? This challenge, posed by Chris, has resulted in (among many others) an egg covered in salt (exactly, Lot's wife), an egg standing in front of a divided expanse of red jelly (you guessed it: Moses), an egg sitting in a tree (that's right, Zaccheus), an egg covered in slices of red sugary jelly sweets (Job covered in boils – does that make him a "boiled" egg…?) and the two eggs you see below. Can you guess which characters they are without peaking at the caption?
The poor widow who put two very small copper coins into the temple treasury.
(Mark 12:41-43 and Luke 21:1-3)
The boy who offered his five small barley loaves and two small fish to Jesus to feed the 5000 with.