Through your generous gifts, churches can plan a fabulously positive celebration of Halloween using our free Light Party Pack. This year it includes ideas on how to share Jesus, the light of the world, with children and young people who aren’t from a church background. And, as Alice Lawrence discovered, the theme of light and positivity is universally popular.
In 2013, Alice and Phil Lawrence took over a vicarage, abandoned during social unrest in the 1990s, on a housing estate in Knowle West, Bristol. They renovated it, and now it’s home to them and also ‘The Cairn’, a mission-focused church community.
Alice says, ‘We wanted The Cairn to be a beacon of light on the estate. There’s a lot of darkness here – social issues and crime – and many people say they long for something more wholesome and positive.
‘So last November we hosted a Light Party, to symbolise how God’s light dispels darkness. The house literally became a beacon, with graphics projected onto the outside walls, glowsticks planted in the garden, and a fire round which families toasted marshmallows and waved sparklers.
‘You entered the house through an illuminated tunnel built out of tent poles and fairy lights. In the main room, a disco ball bulb cast sparkling light over the walls and ceiling. We made rainbow jelly to eat, and offered crafts such as decorating tealight lanterns, and scratching designs into black waxed cards to reveal bright colour underneath.
Appealing to young and old
‘We invited a few people personally, and asked them to spread the word (word of mouth works better here than Facebook). About fifty people came – children and young people and their families, but also some pensioners who didn’t want to be home alone whilst gangs of teens were out Trick or Treating on the estate. Everyone seemed to enjoy the party – one of the mums told us, “It’s great to be here, somewhere where the children can have a good time and be safe”.
"Recently, a ten-year-old girl has decided to follow Jesus and has asked to be baptised."
‘Some of the adults here had a negative experience of church as children. So, whilst we’re clear that we’re Christians, and the light theme hinted at the positivity of Christian faith, our Light Party didn’t include a specific gospel message. We didn’t want people feeling that we were going to foist our faith on them. We saw it more as the start of a journey to build trust and genuine relationships, and to continue that through follow-up lunches and events. That way, we felt conversations about faith would develop more naturally, and, sure enough, they have. Recently, a ten-year-old girl has decided to follow Jesus and has asked to be baptised at our home.
The Light Party Pack was great in helping us plan the event. We used some of what was in there, but we also used some of the ideas as a starting point for our own. Now an Anglican church up the road has started doing Light Parties too – as far as I’m concerned, the more, the better!’
Get your free Light Party Pack
Get your free pack with everything you need to plan a Light Party for children, young people or an all-age event like Alice’s.
Help us resource even more churches
It costs around £2.33 to support and resource a church to host a Light Party, reaching on average 29 children and young people per event. Are you able to help fund next year’s Light Parties, enabling us to continue to support as many churches as possible?
- Connecting You
- What your support enables
- Church & Community