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Event – Sunday school procession

July 2016 | by Roland Burrows

The annual procession of Sunday schools through Blackheath, Halesowen, took place in early May. The revival of what was once a great Black Country tradition has become a popular annual event.

The day began with a special children’s service in Beeches Road Chapel, which was almost filled to capacity. Dr Stephen Stonelake played the great pipe organ, to lead in the singing of such hymns as ‘Forward be our watchword’ and ‘We’re marching to Zion’. The service was led by Pastor James Zenker and the preacher was Mr Peter Harrison of Leicester.

The procession was led by the Halesowen Scout Silver Band, and 16 Sunday schools followed behind with their colourful banners. The weather was perfect as the procession set off from Beeches Road Chapel, Blackheath, eventually weaving its way through the MacMillan Road estate to Britannia Park.

After the procession, the children enjoyed a picnic in the park, followed by games, races, competitions and presentations. The whole event was exceedingly well organised, with over 50 stewards marshalling the procession. Miss Lareina Kaiser was the overall organiser and many individuals invested a great deal of time and energy to make the day enjoyable for participants and spectators alike.

Vital work

The event once again showed that Sunday schools are not dead. It served as a reminder that going to Sunday school is a vital part of any child’s spiritual, social and moral development, which must not be neglected, as well as giving children the opportunity to learn about our Christian heritage.

This witness has been blessed of God for three years now. We trust that, as it has been an event that has encouraged our local Sunday schools, so it will also be an encouragement up and down the country not to give up on this vital work. Sunday school teaching is hard work, and there are many disappointments, but it is a work that, with the Lord’s help, can and must be done.

This particular event began small, but has seen a gradual increase in numbers. Over 400 took part this year, mainly children and young people. At least three of those Sunday schools have been reconstituted in the last few years. Many people have commented that this was a most welcome and enjoyable day. Next year’s procession is scheduled for 13 May 2017. Why not join us?

Roland Burrows

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