What a joy it was to see the Mess Hut commissioned last Saturday – hopefully the attached photos will give you a feel for what went on. It was a wonderful gathering which included members of JI’s family along with many people who were campers or served on camps that John Inchley had led .. .. right through to babes in arms; Frances Nicholson – the local MP; representatives from the diocese, deanery and local clergy – and it was fantastic that the architects and builders were also able to join the happy throng!
Lots of people had been at camp preparing for the weekend in advance and special thanks are given to Jan and John Simmons, Pauline and David Whitehouse and Elizabeth and Bill Carter.
The Right Rev’d Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and John Simmons, Chairman of the Great Wood Trust declared the Mess Hut open and unveiled a plaque, then the assembled masses either made their way into the Mess Hut or took up seats on the verandah – which proved a very handy overflow area.
The service was introduced by Jack Philips and included short testimonials from Nathan Johnson (leader of Tracks), Patrick Weld (Great Wood Chaplain) and Jo O’Callaghan (representing Kilve). Joel Carter read from Proverbs and the sermon was given by the Bishop of Southwell and John Simmons set out the vision for the future.
The songs included Oh Lord, my God (GW version!), Great is Thy faithfulness, 10,000 reasons, Blessed be your name and a mix of Amazing Grace and Blinded by Your grace (Stormzy). Thank you to the wonderful band led by Matt Titman; Emily Keighley, Kaleb Fox, Freddie Keighley and Joel Philips.
Thanks too to Claire Aston (Communications Manager, Christian Aid and long-time Great Wooder), Simon Barker (SU) and Thomas Chambers (camper) for leading the prayers.
It wasn’t the warmest of days but the Lord kept the rain away and that was a huge help. The temperature didn’t stop some people from using the pool! A Quantock Walk, camp fire and country dancing completed the action. Photos taken of the country dancing have been lost on my camera – if you have any, please send to me and I’ll update!
On Sunday morning, there was a short service in the Chapel.
God bless the Mess Hut and everyone who is fortunate enough to spend time therein!