Jesus has brought light into our darkness, so it seems apt that, instead of hiding behind our doors at Halloween avoiding the celebration of darkness, we should celebrate the light that came to obliterate darkness.
This is the fourth year that Oak Hill Church in Surrey has held a Light Party for 1 to 11-year-olds, on or around 31 October, in the school where we meet on Sundays.
It is an alternative, fun activity for our ‘churched’ children and a great way of building bridges to families in the community and sharing the good news of Jesus.
We advertised the party in school newsletters and book bags and through existing toddler and children’s groups that catered for 0 to 11-year-olds.
This year we had over 100 children accompanied by their parents, the majority of whom do not attend our church. Children were asked to come dressed in bright clothing.
The party lasted two hours and included half an hour each of games and crafts. Children could decorate a biscuit, a tealight or make a card with a message to someone they loved. Other activities included face painting, apple bobbing or catching doughnuts on string.
We had traditional party games — musical bumps etc. for the younger ones and games such as crab football for KS2.
We also had puppets, a short talk focusing on Jesus being the light of the world, and to begin and end our time together we enjoyed a fun warm-up and learned some simple actions to some Christian songs.
Each child was given a party bag that included a leaflet on Halloween and the gospel, and on our own church services and children’s groups.
Families were given the opportunity to be put on a mailing list so we can notify them of future events. We were really encouraged by the positive response from all who came and look forward to our next Light Party!