This year the Trains in the Garden event in aid of Jig-Saw Kids Ministries was earlier than usual to coincide with Tim and Kate Lee’s visit. Unfortunately, it also coincided with two consecutive Monday Bank Holidays and so getting fliers out to groups like the Toddler Group was done only just in time. Offers of help and donations from those unable to attend started pouring in the week before and so we had already raised £70 before any train left the station.
The weather forecast on the day was for sunshine and no rain which miraculously turned out to be the case and so it went on. Railway and kitchen helpers arrived in the morning and got things ready. Looking at the 4 plates of cake on the table, I worried that there would not be enough and the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand crossed my mind. An hour later looking at a table laden down with plates piled with cake I hoped enough people would turn up to consume them all and wondered what we’d do if they didn’t. Oh, me of little faith! From 2.30pm on, what started as a steady trickle of visitors gradually got busier as my kitchen team, Enid, Jacqueline, Christine, Gill, Sue and Sheila valiantly made copious drinks and washed-up crockery galore as the cakes gradually disappeared. There were a lot of visitors I did not know and for the first time I reckoned there were more non-church visitors than church members as people brought family and friends and neighbours. We reckon over 120 attended throughout the afternoon.
We did not charge for anything but asked for donations as people were able to give. In previous years we have raised several hundred pounds but this year because of the cost-of-living crisis we did not expect to raise as much. At the end of the day after the last visitor had left and we were able to sit down, it was time to count the money. Imagine our surprise and delight to find we had raised over £1,000 for Jig-Saw Kids Ministries. It was really humbling to realise people had given so generously in such a difficult time. Another miracle in what seemed like a day of miracles!
So many thanks to all those who baked cakes, loaned tea pots and kettles etc. Particular thanks to the helpers who gave of their time to ensure visitors were kept safe round the railway and fed and watered. Most of all a big THANK YOU to all those who gave so generously.
Saturday 13 May saw the annual ‘Trains in the Garden’ at Pete and Liz’s house. It was a beautiful sunny day. The garden was looking lovely with lots of flowers and trees in bloom. Many families came along to join in the fun. There were children of all ages, parents, grandparents and even adults without children.
The trains travelled around the tracks, sometimes being driven by the children, and there were signal men, points operators and station officials, ably led by Pete, all making sure everyone had a good time. Up at the house the table was well stocked with home made cakes of all flavours and sizes. The kettle was working overtime producing numerous cups of tea and coffee and there were jugs of juice for those wanting a cooler refreshment.
The kitchen helpers were under the leadership of Liz and got their step counts up retrieving the empties from around the garden. There were collection buckets strategically placed near the train station and the cake table.
Tim and Kate Lee, our mission partners who work for this amazing charity were also in attendance and brought information boards with them so we could see photos of the children that are supported and of the activities that they take part in. Thanks to the generosity of those who attended a whopping £1,010 was raised for Jigsaw Kids Ministry. Well done all and thanks to Pete and Liz for a very enjoyable afternoon.