The Garden Party – Have I done this one?

It was another sponsored event, but more than that, it started with a sponsored walk, which ended at Wolvsley Palace in Winchester for a youth event, a ‘garden party’ with stalls and events and meeting in the marquee where we had a talk, from memory, the talk was about youth in the church of England, but I am not positive, but I do remember how all the youth groups were walking or travelling to Wolvsley to join the event, and we had one of the shorter walks.

I didn’t really understand the Church of England apart from knowing about JM’s grumbles and the cliques in church back then, I didn’t know how desparate they were to keep young people as they are a dying church, even in the Diocese of Winchester which is described as ‘so low church and evangelical that they are all limbo dancing’. (not my description).

Anyway, our sponsored walk was to raise money for one of the African countries, possibly for wells, I can’t remember now.
We walked happily into Winchester, carrying a banner, and the police slowed up to check us out, and decided we looked harmless.

We arrived at Wolvsley and set up our stall, we were running a maggot racing or worm racing game, and the freed worms or maggots ran everywhere but you had to bet which would get closest to somewhere on the board.
Bishop Scott-Joynt and archbishop Carey politely wandered round the stalls, I think it was the Bishop who had won a lollypop at one of the stalls and was sucking this lollypop, and the Hampshire Chronicle got a picture of this and printed it as a headline, but I cannot remember either the headline or the article, only the funny picture.

I had hid when the Bishop and Archbishop came over, because I was very shy and didn’t know how to address them.
I did know the Bishop’s wife vaguely, as she had been introduced to me by her friends, my friend Anne, who she sang with in the Wayneflete, and her friend FM, who she attended groups with, FM who had abused me when I had stayed briefly at the Rectory according to JM’s wishes.
But anyway, the Bishop’s wife was at this event, with the Archbishop’s wife, and she ignored me when I said hello, which was embarrassing, because I was shy.
When JM heard about that later, she said they were snobs at Wolvsley and that they treated her Benefice administrator the same. (JM was not normally at youth events and youth group, she was a very busy lady).

Anyway, we had fun nonetheless, and the weather stayed wonderful, and we had the talk in the marquee on youth in the church, presumably, and then continued festivities later.

A lovely memory.


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