Allan Morgan

Memories of Christ Church from Allan Morgan
Allan has attended Christ Church since 1986

Asking someone to write about his memories of his time at Christ Church who has difficulty in remembering his daughter's birthday or his wedding anniversary with any certainty is obviously risky. However, having successfully located the T.V. remote twice this week I feel I'm 'on a roll' - so here goes.
I became a member of Christ Church in 1990 shortly after beginning to attend in anticipation of the birth of Number 1 daughter. There had been a break in my Church attendance for a few years and so I was a little nervous about attending again and re-joining. I needn't have worried. Peter Elliott was kindness itself and made me feel very welcome. I think that at this time Peter had just been called to the Ministry at Christ Church and perhaps it was because he himself was learning how to deal with his new roll that he was so understanding.
Looking back I can't identify individuals who we met and who made us feel so at home - but we were made to feel from the start that we were part of the Church family. I would say however that those who spoke to us must have been trained by the K.G.B. or someone similar as it seemed that in no time at all our who(?), what(?), why(?), where(?) and when(?) had been exposed by some outstanding interrogation techniques.
One of the few conversations I do remember in those early weeks was with Doreen Quinn who gave us the first of a number of sales pitches about 'Church Camp'. At first, I was successful in my resistance to her entreaties (luckily she never threatened violence), but eventually when we became 'caravaners' my main excuse disappeared and I was finally 'captured'.
It is now a few years since I attended Church Camp as a camper and obviously memories begin to fade BUT there are some which remain and will no doubt do so for ever. These are not in any particular order and, are certainly not exhaustive. As I jotted them down in draft more and more came to mind but ……

  • Just doing 'jobs' - often mundane (interminable washing up sessions); occasionally not very pleasant (someone has to empty the loos and fill in the trench) - but I cannot remember anyone ever complaining -they simply got on with it
  • Tom Quinn 'Camp Commandant' in my first camps who with his henchmen John Morris, Alan Hiscock and Peter Earl (i/c boilers and cookers) seemed to be everywhere and always on hand to give help and advice
  • … and everyone else who seemed to gather round as campers arrived with offers to help with tents / with awnings with . In my mind I can picture of about twenty people (well maybe not quite) helping Dudley Moore to put up a particularly stubborn awning in a bit of a wind
  • Driving the trailer. In the early days a flat top and then a 'small cattle box'. Trips back and for the to Church, the storage area at the farm (for cookers, boiler, water carriers, oil drums); Woricker's to pick up scaffold boards (which with the drums was our not particularly comfortable seating in the marquee), and simply giving rides around the field to the children (yes I know we probably shouldn't have - but there was no 'Health and Safety' to worry about in those days)
  • The discussion around whether we should finally change from drum and splinter providing scaffold boards to proper seats in the marquee...
  • ... and the similar debate when we decided that electric lighting might make life easier
  • Sitting and talking - over a meal; whilst preparing or washing up; in someone's caravan or even just outside in the sun. Was it always sunny or is my memory playing a trick?
  • Watching the children playing together - having fun but safe; [and occasionally and even better knowing that someone else was watching them etc. …..]
  • Morning wake up call with a cup of tea - not always welcome - but a duty carried out with a great deal of humour by Richard Poyntz and by Jean Hall
  • Early morning Communion sitting in a circle out in the open air; the walk to Church on the Sunday morning and the welcome we were given by the congregation at Bicnacre
  • The Sunday evenings service in (and out) of the marquee and the meal afterward where we were joined again by our friends from the village
  • The Evening Service itself - the visit of a clown and some healthy singing - there's something about fresh air and singing although I seem to remember at least one occasion when the weather did more to raise the roof than the music
  • The barbecue when it seemed that Tom Collins, Peter Earl and I fed at least five thousand - and there was no fish!

Then, just like now it was time to go - everything put away - sit for a while and try to work out just what it is about Church Camp that makes it such a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Long may it continue!