Churches in Blackburn have shown how they can be visible at the heart of their community in Blackburn - holding a community outreach event on the theme of 'Feeding the 5000'.
Rev Barbara Pack of St. Aidan Mill Hill with St. Luke, St. Mark and St. Philip, Blackburn takes up the story ...
As the week of Friday the 12 July began to approach the preparations and final tasks were finally taking place.
The Mission Team had been planning this event for nearly nine months and praying on a regular basis that the weather would be fine and the event would be a success.
The original idea for the event came from our Vision 2026 'mission action planning' and an away day back in the summer of 2018.
We had already taken the church out into the community by organising a Teddy Bear's Picnic for baptism families and their friends, but as a church we wanted to build upon this and be witnesses in the community in which we served.
So following the Vision 2026 aims of being witnesses and making disciples we grew a vision for the church to make it 'present' in the community it served.
From this grew a free event that would involve the community and plans to stage an event for all to get involved.
Months of planning, advertising and gathering together various groups to help and take part eventually culminated in the St. Aidan's Community outreach event on the theme of 'Feeding the 5000'.
Bishop Philip, the Bishop of Burnley, spoke about loaves and fishes; we had fish finger buns, a punch and judy show, various craft shows and some wonderful performing acts from the local primary school and high school.
There was the mascot from Blackburn Rovers and Ambassadors in Sport; other local businesses got involved and the local medical centre also came on board.
God was good to us, and the weather was absolutely wonderful: glorious sunshine.
More than 250 people from the church and community attended, with lots of positive feedback and encouragement for us to repeat the event next year. The event was followed up on the following Sunday by an All Age Service.
From the feedback for the event, St. Aidan's Church has made an impact on the local community, showing them that as a church we care for them and are always there when they need us.
The whole event was a truly amazing day in which the presence of God's love was shared with the community in which we live and share our daily lives.