CHURCHES in Lancashire holding an alternative celebration to the increasingly popular Hallowe’en festivities are being offered a new Treat Pack by the company that produces Christian Fair Trade Easter Eggs.
And today the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, gave his support to the new initiative.
The Meaningful Chocolate Company’s ‘Treat Pack’ is a new resource for churches of all denominations that the company says is designed to help with mission work among children and families on, and leading up to, the eve of All Saints (Hallowe’en).
It is suitable for church light parties, outreach events, schools or to give to children who call to trick or treat on October 31. The new product is also a major sponsor of the new ‘Jesus Light’ installed earlier this year in Blackpool and currently shining bright until the world-famous illuminations are switched off on November 5.
Inside each pack there is a bag of Fairtrade chocolate buttons and a Challenge Activity Poster.
The poster has eight challenges, including a quiz, maze, word game, a call to buy Fairtrade, a prayer suggestion, a national competition with a prize, and a challenge to treat someone less well off by donating to a children’s charity.
The packs come in boxes of 30, working out at just £1 per pack.
Each box also includes an ideas sheet for church leaders. The Meaningful Chocolate Company is offering free delivery for orders made up to September 30. Packs could still be ordered after this date, although there may be limited numbers. Orders can be made via the company website: www.realhalloween.org
Bishop Julian says: “Isn’t there an alternative to the increasingly common Hallowe’en attempts to scare and frighten?
"Well there is - and The Meaningful Treat Box is a way for adults to challenge kids to learn about Jesus in an accessible way; do a bit of good by giving to a charity and enjoy some great Fairtrade chocolate at the same time.
"I encourage people to share the chocolates at ‘light parties’, which many churches hold instead of traditional Hallowe'en events, or give them away on the doorstep to trick or treaters."
David Marshall, from Meaningful Chocolate, added: “The word Hallowe’en actually means ‘The night before All Saints Day’. All Saints Day is the time when we celebrate good winning over bad and light over darkness.
“We also remember friends and family members and I hope people appreciate this new way they can join in with Hallowe’en while staying focused on mission work.”