Can we build a Lighthouse in the Cookhams?
Lighthouse is a week long Christian Holiday club in the summer holidays which is open to all children aged 4-11. It started in Great Missenden in the late 1980s and its aim is to bring Christianity to children through music, drama, dance, craft, sport and teaching. It is free of charge to the children attending (in order to make it accessible to all children irrespective of their social or financial standing) and is run entirely by volunteers from local churches, schools and the local community.
Burnham Lighthouse started in 2002, taking place on the Burnham Grammar School site, and was the fourth Lighthouse project to be established. It has been a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by all the children and adult volunteers who attend.
Last year Burnham Lighthouse registered nearly 750 children and had over 350 volunteers (children and adults) from the local community. Lighthouse not only provides a fantastic experience for the children, but also promotes a real sense of belonging, community togetherness and spirit through the involvement of people of all ages and backgrounds, not only during the week but afterwards; many new friendships are forged.
All children of primary age in the area are invited through the local churches and schools; teenagers are also involved as helpers alongside adult volunteers. The children come from all backgrounds and those with special needs or disabilities are welcomed. Children from other faiths wishing to attend a Christian event are also welcome and many have attended. Indeed, Lighthouse is seen as a perfect opportunity for children of different faiths to learn about Christianity.
I would like to explore whether such a project might be feasible in the Cookhams. We have had an introductory meeting with our friends from Burnham, and some Cookham folk have already signed up to help in Burnham this year. I believe this is the best way to see and understand what Lighthouse is all about. So, if you have a heart for children and would like to be part of what could be a very exciting venture for Cookham, please talk to Fr Michael or Christine Taylor who had a brief taste of it last year, or to me, Angela, Josh or Jamie who have been very much involved with it for the past eight years. If you are unable to help at Burnham this year, do ask me about coming on a visit for the full Lighthouse experience!