Gurnell Grove transformed into Christmas Winter Wonderland
Families in Gurnell Grove in West London have enjoyed a unique evening out as the council estate was turned into a Christmas Winter Wonderland.
The site, erected for a special night for local families, included a skating rink and traditional fairground games. A Christmas market gave visitors the opportunity to get their Christmas shopping done, with many local people selling homemade crafts and baked goods.
The event was facilitated by The Grove Community, a fresh expression of church with an Eden team, a community outreach organisation that reaches out to the poorest communities in order to help them build authentic community spirit, and to love neighbourhoods back to life. The Eden Network is part of a global movement to bring the Church back to places where it has been forgotten.
The Winter Wonderland was just one of the community events that The Grove Community hosts throughout the year. These include a kids club every Friday, community lunches every Thursday and the ever-popular Bingo Church on the last Friday of every month. It hopes that the enthusiasm in the community for the Winter Wonderland will continue as The Grove Community launches more initiatives and events in the new year.
Mark Tate, team leader of The Grove Community, commented:
“The success of the winter wonderland has shown what we can achieve when the Church and the Eden Network come together to serve and bless communities like Gurnell Grove. Hyde Park’s winter wonderland is famous, but I’m certain that everyone here thought the Gurnell Grove Winter Wonderland was more special. The Church is reaching out to communities, and those communities are receptive to Jesus and his message of hope.”
The Bishop of Islington, the Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, said:
“This fantastic event at Gurnell Grove is testament to the inspirational work of The Grove Communtiy team and all those involved in its organisation. Since its relatively recent launch, The Grove has become a central part of the Gurnell Grove community, connecting with local people of all ages. As we are seeing across all of London, worshipping communities are thriving when they find new ways to engage with new people. The Gurnell Grove Winter Wonderland is a great example of how communities benefit from confident, creative mission.”
Photo credits: Luke Harmer Visuals