Refresh2012 Attracts 2,000

Michael Ford writes for the Diocese of Salisbury:

Two thousand people attended an outdoor service on Sunday 26 August during the ‘Refresh2012’ Beach Festival in Weymouth. The service was a highlight of Bank Holiday events organised by local churches from Weymouth and Portland.

An estimated two thousand people attended the Sunday Service led by Evergreen, Andrew Palau and the Bishop of Sherborne

The organisers timed Refresh2012 to take place between the Olympic sailing events and the Paralympics. Hundreds of people braved the elements to attend the Festival between Friday 24 and Monday 27 August.

Stage performers included rock bands Evergreen (who led the service, entitled the ‘Great Big Worship Event’) and Dave Lubben; pop acts LZ7 and Crossfya; and clergy rock band Dogs without Collars.

Activities included face painting, circus skills, balloon modelling, bouncy castles, sumo wrestling and relaxation tents, complete with foot massages and herbal teas.

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, said, “It was an extraordinary Christian festival on the beach: the direct result of long term relationships across denominations. Congratulations to all involved.”

He added, “After the Sunday service, I enjoyed taking part in the sumo-suit wrestling and limbo dancing. In the town I was taught to skateboard by some young people in exchange for showing them how to flick a Frisbee round a tree.”

Refresh2012 Co-ordinator Anni Douglas said, “The team have been fantastic, and so have the performers and helpers. Spirits weren’t dampened by the rain, and the Sunday Service was the reward for lots of hard work. There was such an atmosphere of celebration: a day to remember!”

Photo by Chris Briggs: The Rev. Paul White and Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne, wrestle in sumo suits.


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