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Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson was thrilled to be able to formally open family fun day at the Hope

Sefton Central MP, Bill Esterson was thrilled to be able to formally open family fun day at the Hope Centre in Old Roan.

Bill Esterson, who is the Labour MP for Aintree and Melling as well as the rest of central Sefton, was invite by Lee Jennings, the new pastor at the Old Roan Baptist Church.

Pastor Lee Jennings said, “The lead up to the summer is often laced with fairs and fun days from schools, churches and other clubs coming towards the end of another busy year – each of them holding out for the allusive British summer time! For one of the churches in Aintree though, it was more than just a fair.

“The Hope Centre is well known in Aintree Village and is the home of Old Roan Baptist Church. The church hosted a community weekend, consisting of a family fun day on the Saturday which saw over 400 people come along during the afternoon, and a community picnic on the Sunday. On the Saturday, the church’s youth group and leaders washed cars for free, the Café Hope team provided a free afternoon tea for the retired, there was a tug of war, bouncy castles, face painting, assault courses and a BBQ run by volunteers from the church. To add to the sense of community, burgers were from K&K Butchers and Tesco in Aintree Village kindly gave milk and other refreshments, giving the weekend a real local feel. So what made this weekend different to any other?

“Firstly, the church decided to cancel the Sunday morning service and instead, invite the local community to come along for a picnic. Secondly, and maybe the most surprising thing of all, there was no cost to anything during the whole weekend! Not many things are free in our society today but community is more important than cost. Many people pointed out how much money we could have raised, but for us the important thing was demonstrating love and generosity, and building upon the incredible sense of community here. Summer holidays can be both an expensive time for parents and can be a lonely time for the elderly, so this was our gift from the church to the whole community, no matter age, background or situation or belief. We believe in a generous and loving God, and we believe in the importance of community – we just wanted to reflect that to those around us.”

The day was officially opened by Sefton Central M.P. Bill Esterson, who said “Aintree Village is a real community, so days like this which draw people from all ages and backgrounds together are a real gem in society, and it was a pleasure to play a part in opening the day. My hope is that events like this will bring more people together from right across the community. I would like to pay tribute to the fabulous new pastor at Old Roan Baptist Church, Lee Jennings and all members of the church who did such a fantastic job organising and running the community events throughout the weekend. It was also great to see recently retired pastor, John Kearns at the event. John did a first rate job as pastor, so this is also a great chance to thank John for his work for the community as well.”

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