On Maundy Thursday, Holy Nativity Church Mixenden and Illingworth took vigil to a whole new level. The scouts stayed overnight around the altar all the way through to the end of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday morning.
The vicar of Mixenden and Illingworth, the Revd Robb Sutherland said: "The church is used as the scout hut on Thursday nights and a couple of times a year we have to cancel for services. One afternoon I joked that a real Maundy Thursday vigil would involve the kids running around church and refusing to go to sleep!”
This remark kickstarted a few months of planning with the scout leaders and the church. The PCC agreed to move the Footwashing service to earlier in the day and by 6pm the church was filled with young people exploring the whole of Easter from Palm Sunday through to the crucifixion.
Giant communal colouring sheets, craft activities and woodwork filled Holy Nativity church. The scouts began by baking bread together. Whilst that cooled they made a giant cross that would be put up at midnight in the church park overlooking the estate. The young people made lots of activities that would be shared with the congregation during the Stations of the Cross.
Later on in the evening, the Eucharist was celebrated as everyone relived the last supper gathered around the altar using the freshly baked bread made by the young people. Then the altar was covered in candles as the vigil began.
Come the morning, breakfast was shared together and then the Bishop of Huddersfield, Bishop Jonathan arrived. Together with Revd Robb the whole church family walked the Stations of the Cross together and completed all age activities together.
And they didn’t even get told off for toasting marshmallows at 1.30am in the church park!