RAF 100 Church Service & Church Fête

The RAF Waddington Chaplains recently celebrated RAF100 with a special Station Church Service, followed by a Church Fête.

The Church Service included pieces by the Voluntary Band and Military Wives’ Choir. Almost 120 service personnel, families and friends, of all ages were present, requiring additional chairs to be provided. Prayers were said by the Reverend (Squadron Leader) Chris Lawrence and the Reverend (Squadron Leader) Rachel Cook. Wing Commander Tim Monk read the Lesson. The sermon, preached by the Reverend (Wing Commander) Alex Hobson, reflected on the enduring spirit of the Royal Air Force; where, although people and places inevitably change, there are nonetheless permanent values handed on from generation to generation.

Afterwards, the lively congregation proceeded to the Integrated Welfare Facility lawn where a Church Fête was in full-swing, complete with face-painting, bouncy castle, Lincoln Fun Bus, stocks and old-fashioned games. It’s estimated that around 250 people turned out on a beautiful May afternoon. A highlight was the cutting of the specially-commissioned RAF100 Birthday Cake, by Mrs Dorothy Brown, Church Warden of the Station Church.

A unique part of the day was an RAF100 Puppet Show inside the IWF, where children sat enthralled as the history of the Air Force unfolded in front of their eyes, with Tiger Moths, Spitfires, Station aircraft, and Vulcans whizzing across the screen. After the performance, the boys and girls were able in workshops to make their own aircraft and to display their craft work.

Back outside in the brilliant sunshine, people queued for ice creams, enjoyed pop-corn from the SSAFA stand, or just revelled in quality family time. Padre Rachel Cook entertained the crowd by singing some well-known songs, as well as (but not simultaneously!) displaying some impressive Karate self-defence moves.

All the events on the day were free-of-charge, funded by the RAF Chaplains’ Branch Church Collection Funds. Padre Philip Wilson, who led the organisation for the day, commented, “The chaplaincy team wanted to give something for the whole community to enjoy. We looked at the RAF100 themes of “Commemorate, Celebrate and Inspire” and decided that the Church Service would be our commemoration, the Fête would be all about celebration, and Messy Church, starting in the autumn of 2018, for young children, will be our time to inspire the next generation.” If the Service and Fête events are anything to go by, Messy Church, which will be advertised more fully later in the summer, looks like being a real treat!