Children's television presenter, Rhys Stephenson shares his first memories of Halloween and why he's on board with Light Parties.
I grew up in a Christian household with a powerful, God-fearing woman, so Halloween was never on the table. In fact, I don't remember ever questioning why Halloween wasn’t allowed – I just assumed it wasn't our thing.
To be honest, I’ve never been that fussed about missing out. I think part of this is due to the time when I was little and opened the door on Halloween to be greeted by sweet-hunting trolls. I ran upstairs screaming. But I’m sure there were other factors too.
I guess the only negative thing for me about not taking part (apart from the interminable, yet friendly, visitors constantly reminding you of a holiday that you’ve been taught to ignore) was that there was no alternative for Christian kids like me, until one year when my mum and the other parents at our church decided to get all the kids together for a Hallows Eve party.
It was great. We played games, ate sweets and completely forgot about Halloween altogether! Although it wasn’t technically called that, this was my first light party, and I remember feeling special because the adults had loved us enough to do something about our missing-out. It showed they were paying attention and cared.
If we’re going to encourage more children and young people to connect with the good news of Jesus, we need to keep making these efforts for them or risk losing them to the world. In doing so, not only may we keep the children and young people in the church, but their glow might just attract others who haven’t had a chance to know Jesus yet.
Which is why I fully support the amazing work Scripture Union are doing to make Light Parties more ubiquitous in our communities. Light Parties are serving as a Christian alternative to Halloween for children and young people, as yet another way to invite more to hear the message of Jesus and get involved. I hope that with enough effort it will someday evolve into something beyond that, giving an even brighter reason for children to get excited about the 31st of October.
Children's television presenter
As well as being busy with his job presenting on children's television, Rhys loves video games and basketball. He's also a keen piano player and often leads the worship band at his church.
- Light party