THIS year’s Big Church Day Out at Wiston House, Steyning gets the royal approval with a specially recorded message from the Prince of Wales played at the event.
Over the bank holiday weekend, an estimate of 20,000 people flocked to the event, to see some of the 34 artists in this year’s line up.
There were three music stages and three other venues on which two Grammy awards winners Matt Redman and Israel Houghton plus 80s stars Amy Grant and Yazz performed.
The event catered to all ages and tastes with not only music but a variety of activities over the two days.
Children could enjoy the soft play tent, on-site farm and face painting and those who wanted to learn a few circus skills had the opportunity to be taught plate spinning and juggling.
In addition to the festivities, the Prince of Wales recorded a video message for all at the Big Church Day Out which gave the weekend a royal seal of approval, he said: “This unity through diversity offers the world a message of hope.”
Tim Jupp, festival director, said: “It was an incredible day and the weather was amazing.
“We had people coming from all around the world to play at the event and we wanted the event to be inclusive of everyone. It was a great opportunity to bring families together. So often the media paint a picture of a church that is in decline, but the BigChurchDayOut helps to tell another story, of an active church that is committed to playing its part in the community as well as enjoying two days of great fun together.”
Every Big Church Day Out raises awareness and money for a particular charity and this year’s fundraising was dedicated to Christians Against Poverty. The event raised enough funds to open 13 new debt centres to help and advise people.
This annual event is one of the largest gatherings from all sections of the church, and also attracts non church-goers, as it appeals to families as a great day out, said organisers.