On the first weekend in March, 36 young people and 14 leaders headed over to Barnstondale for an action-packed weekend entitled ‘What’s in the Box’?

Across the weekend we explored our purpose and heard how knowing our purpose can help motivate us, help us make better decisions and help us be more resilient. We thought about the things that influence us and how we might discover our purpose. We also spent some time considering how living as a Christian might give purpose and hope in our lives. In among this we played a gazillion games and challenges all based around cardboard boxes!  At the end of this blog are some photo’s and a video of some highlights from the weekend!

As a church, this was a heavily subsidised visit. Some years ago, a legacy was left to help support those families and young people who may not be in a position to access everything that we do here in our youth and children’s ministry. I am sure that the person who made this donation would have been delighted to see their money being used to create so much fun and joy in the lives of those who came along, all in the name of Jesus.


A leader’s perspective

This is my first time doing a weekend away and I’ve absolutely loved it, every single part of it. Seeing all the kids actively engaging in worship was something special that I will never forget. All the kids working together on different tasks with no complaining and just getting along with everything put in front of them was great to see too.

All the kids behaved in their dorms – the only person to set off a fire alarm was a leader!! The lads I supervised at the campfire were so well behaved, and we had some good conversations at the same time. It was great to be thanked at the end of it all. One of the young people saying thank you for helping me through the highs and lows of the weekend was really special. It’s been a fab weekend. I’m so glad I have done it.

All the ‘please prayers’ that we prayed as a group at the beginning of the weekend have been answered. The kids were so proud of all they’ve been able to achieve.  Daniel

And from the kids…

“Recently we went on a weekend away to Barnstondale located in the Wirral.  The experience was enjoyable from start to finish.  We arrived and were shown to our room which looked very welcoming.  The weekend was fun packed, with a range of activities that we both enjoyed, including an obstacle course through the mud on our hands and knees.  We also thoroughly enjoyed an adventure scavenger hunt through the woods.  We liked having the opportunity to take part in calm and relaxing activities such as Bible reading with one of our leaders.  Waking up in the morning and taking part in the songs was a great way to start our day and got us looking forward to what was to come for the rest of the day.  Overall, Evie & I more than enjoyed our first time away with JC’s and would jump at the chance to go away again.  We can’t thank the leaders and staff enough for an unforgettable trip”.  Maisie & Evie.

“I really enjoyed the weekend away, because we did loads of activities that involved learning more about God and the holy spirit. The activity I enjoyed most was the assault course because I like sports, but I also enjoyed the scavenger hunt, because it was challenging.  From a spiritual point of view, we learnt about God always being there for us and my takeaway was that on these weekends away I feel closer to God, because as a church we are all together, but when I come back, I don’t feel as close, so I think learning about the fact that God is with us all the time helps me.  It was also great to see my friends praising God as well and enjoy doing it together, this weekend has really helped me come closer to all of my friends and I think it’s important to have some good mates that are in a church community”.  Adam

“For me, I always enjoy weekends away, ever since I was younger, I have always looked forward to them and enjoy them, but there was something truly special about this weekend away.  It’s been quite difficult getting back to normal life since going on our mission trip to Uganda a few weeks earlier, and I found life hard.  I was used to being around all my church family day and night, so coming home it felt isolating and quiet, I missed the amazing people I met in Uganda and missed all my friends at church.  This weekend has really helped me because I was with all my friends and reunited with one of my best friends, Minnie.  Seeing her was one of my highlights of this weekend because I love her so much and even though we don’t see each other often, we are still close, so seeing each other was again great.  I loved the worship from this weekend away, I enjoyed singing and worshipping with my friends, and talking and praying with them.  Another part of this weekend I loved was the assault course (even though I was terrible at it) I enjoyed the outdoor activities a lot and getting sweets from the treasure hunt.  Thank you to all the staff and those who have helped with this weekend away. Kaitlyn.