As a small  group we had a huge task in front of us. The invitations had been sent out and the response was encouraging. We had a total of 48 persons to cater for. A good mix of family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours.

The shopping was done and the day dawned bright and clear. The ovens were switched on and the cooking began. A few short hours later the guests began to arrive and there was an air of expectancy. Something good was about to happen!

Unite Band, (our Youth Band) led by Richard,  provided live music to welcome our guests. As if moved by an unseen hand, a steady stream of hot food was brought to each table. The aroma wafted across the room and the noise of cutlery was heard as we all tucked into the meal. Yummy! 

From my table I observed guests and local church members engaging in conversation. There was a real  sense of family in the room and everyone seem to be enjoying themselves. The gentleman seated near me was so captured by the music that we gave up trying to engage him in conversation!

At the end of the meal our guests were not in a hurry to leave. Fond farewells were said and the grand clear up began. Many people helped to clear the tables and shared with us their comments and compliments.

Some of our our guests said, “what a great atmosphere! The food was really good! We loved the music. It was a fantastic meal! Such a peaceful atmosphere! You all did a great job!“ The general feedback was a resounding “well done” to our team.

Although some of our members were unable to be with  us today, Yahshua stood with us and gave us the strength to do the incredible. All  the glory goes to Him!  

The 'Pride in Aylesbury Vale Awards' aim to salute the outstanding individuals and amazing organisations that work hard to make Aylesbury Vale an amazing place. Be they unsung heroes or stars in their fields, enthusiastic youngsters or stalwart servants, these awards aim to recognise excellence.

This year, Community Unity Projects has received nominations in three of the eleven categories.

Richard Willetts has been nominated for "Community Volunteer of the Year", for all the community work he does. Community Unity Projects has been nominated for "Community Company of the Year", for the music project in Quarrendon, making the arts accessible to all. And the Open Door Lunch Club has been nominated for the "Service with a Smile" award, which is a great boost to the volunteers.
The Aylesbury project is not trying to blow its own trumpet here, but gives glory to Yahweh, because it is He in them who makes the difference in all they do, and He who inspires, strengthens and blesses them.

The Awards website can be viewed here...

Richard wins the "Highly Commended Award" in the volunteer category.


By Shoshana Willetts

Community Unity Projects in Aylesbury held their annual 1940s event on 5th February 2012. This community event raises fund for the charity 'Help For Heroes' (H4H). Shoshana Willetts reports...

Thank you to all who prayed for our 1940s event - we certainly needed and felt your prayers! We thank Yahweh for enabling us to serve our local community in this way - bringing His face to the crowd.

Despite the snow falling, and stopping a good proportion of people attending, over 80 guests were still able to make it. The atmosphere was great.

My husband Richard opened with the memory of when people were queuing to pray outside St Paul's Cathedral, London, during the war years and how prayer changed things. 

Dove Dance Group transported the audience to the blitz years - air raid sirens, doodlebugs, finishing with a portrayal of John McCrae’s Poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. The audience was visibly moved and Dove Dance members did H4H proud.

A short film was shown explaining the work of H4H and in particular the work of Tedworth House - which is a Personnel Recovery and Aassessment Centre for wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women.

The Town Mayor was in attendance and judged the fancy dress - always amazed by the costumes!

All the people that attended the event signed a dedicated ‘Book of Thanks and Encouragement’ for the residents of Tedworth House and all the children drew a picture of courage and heroism which will be put in a presentation folder and sent on to them. Doing this really made us think of the sacrifice some people are paying in serving their country.

Violet Rae , a vintage 1940s singer, wowed the audience and brought the nostalgia of that era to the event.

That old ‘Community Spirit’ was definitely evident as members of the local church and community worked hard behind the scenes serving hot drinks and afternoon tea, supervising the children in the ‘Evacuee Zone’, and playing good old fashioned games from the war years! Huge thanks to all who helped. 

£140 was raised and many said that the event was the best to date.

by Grace Thompson

Located in the beautiful countryside of Letchworth, Hertfordshire is the Wymondley Wood Scout & Guide Centre. This was the chosen location for our Parent Café Camp.

The accommodation was adequate for our needs and outside there was a variety of  areas for our young people to explore and play games. The site was situated at the top of a hill, which gave us some stunning views of the town near by. The grounds was spacious and great for ball games etc. It was very peaceful, and only the sound of voices broke the silence.

On the first night we arrived at different times, and some of us had an eventful journey, but we were happy to be together, at last!

On  the first day we went for a walk in the woods where we discovered a pond and a stream. Some of the young people collected kindling and later gathered wood into a pile for the camp fire. Some us played tabletop games while others explored the grounds.

 After lunch we had archery lessons from a professional couple. We had a lot of fun learning this new skill, as this was new to some of us. Arrows landed in some unusual places and gave us a lot of laughs.

Later that afternoon we had a visit from members of the Hitchin fellowship. Several ball games were played and we enjoyed the company of our visitors.

The day came to a close with supper around the camp fire. This was enjoyed by all and we didn’t want it to end. But before going to bed some of us just had to have that last game of scrabble!

The next day we had Sunday School, which was well attended. The theme was, What is the Church? and How can I be a part of it? This was illustrated by various mime groups and overhead pictures. The message was easy to understand but powerful.

All too soon it was time to pack up and return home, but first we shared what we thought about the weekend. 

Some of the comments were, “ Epic! Fabulous! Best weekend! Amazing! A great experience! Wicked! Great location! We had great fun! I liked archery. Can we stay here forever?

 We look forward to building on what was achieved this weekend. relationshipscamp. 

Obstacles overcome for a great day in the sun
The Town Mayor opened the event, which was attended by a diverse mix of people. The expected 400 visitors was actually more like 700. Sunshine Rally 2011 created a buzz and got people talking. Innovo Theatre Group performed stunning mime, which visibly moved the participants at times. 'Pastors on the Ground' were available for any wanting a listening ear. But it wasn't all plain sailing...

Sunshine Rally 2011 had some obstacles to overcome. Due to a reduction in funding, there was a hole in the finances of over £1000. The organizers believed that Yahweh would sort it out, so carried on with the preparations. Days before the event a local person felt Yahweh wanted them to give a donation of £500 towards it! This provision was a blessing to Community Unity Projects and a great testimony to people in the local community. After the Rally, it was found that enough money was taken on the day to cover the outgoings and have a little spare towards the 2012 event - and this despite the fact that no entrance fee is charged and activities are free.

Another obstacle was staffing, as many helpers had to drop out. But these were replaced by others who volunteered. Congregation members came from Aylesbury, Hitchin, London, Chelmsford, Nottingham and Stourbridge to lend a hand and be a part of the fun. People from the other local projects run by CUP also helped out and some took the burden of all aspects of the tuck shop and BBQ.

There was a concern over the lack of adult musicians, as music is a vital part of the Rally. Again there was an answer in the shape of the young people. Unite Youth Band stepped up to the plate along with two teenage girls from Nottingham and a young guitarist from Hitchin (plus a couple of adults who did chip in from time to time). A few homeless young people turned up at the event and one of these entertained the Rally with thirty minutes of music unplugged.

To get a flavour of all that happened, click here for the slideshow...
Photographs by Maria Bond©
Young People shine at Southeast Feast
As part of the celebration of Yahshua's love, the Congregation of Yahweh in the Southeast held "A Day of Drama, Dance and Song" performed by forty children from the region (Chelmsford, London, Aylesbury and Hitchin).
This thought-provoking presentation of the Resurrection was performed by Unite Youth Band and Dove Dance Group. Not only did Yahshua shine, but so did the talent of the young people. The performances made a dramatic impact. Many people wished the performance could have gone on for longer. One visitor said, "The whole thing sent shivers down my spine... Makes you think, doesn't it?" This is what we want - for people to think about what Yahshua has done for us!

One of the children from Hitchin, Talitha, commented: "I enjoyed the whole thing... it told the story of how Yahshua won over sin and was victorious..."

To read more of what Talitha (and other children) said, click here.

To see a slideshow of the event, click here.

Aylesbury church raises £400 for charity
Sunday 13th February 2011 
Open Door Community Church hosted its annual 1940s nostalgia event in aid of the charity, Help for Heroes.
Food, dance and community spirit were key ingredients of this event. Lindy Hop dancers demonstrated their art and gave lessons; there was a 1940s sing-a-long, a VE party snacks table and an evacuee zone for children’s activities. The youth band also took to the stage.

The Mayor of Aylesbury came along to preside over the raffle and give out prizes for costume competitions.

Pastor Richard Willetts said: “The event proved to be a brilliant community event for people of all ages, where the true community spirit of the 1940s was revived.”

More pictures here

by Shoshana Willetts

The thanksgiving weekend in Aylesbury featured two events which proved a great success.

Aspects of nativity (11th December)
The first day of our Thanksgiving Weekend was a performance by Dove Dance Group with musical interludes provided by Unite Youth Band. The event was attended by 100 visitors and was enjoyed by all. Cream teas were served afterwards courtesy of Open Door Community Church, which is celebrating 10 years of working in the Quarrendon area of Aylesbury. The anniversary dovetails nicely with the 50 year celebration of the National Church.Dove Dance Group started in May this year. The aim of the group is to “Explore Creativity & Build Confidence”. This was very evident in all the performers (aged 4 to 12) who took part on the day.The Unite Youth Band is newly formed and its talents added to the whole afternoon being a “Celebration” of working with young people - which the church has done both locally and nationally for the past 50 years.A collection was taken at the end of the performance which raised £125 towards printed t-shirts for the young people of both groups.

Photograph courtesy of M. Bond

 Community Sunday Roast (12th December)                                                                                                                                                        The following day, as part of the ongoing Thanksgiving Weekend, a Community Roast was provided for 60 members of the local community by the local church, organised by mothers Maria & Sam who attend the Parent Café run by Open Door Community Church. One of the attendees said, “It was a great atmosphere and I felt really at home here”.

A huge thank you to the local church and local community members for all their hard work in making the weekend one to remember. 

Pastor Richard Willetts said of the weekend’s events:

“This was a fitting end to a year of celebration which brought both church and community together.”
International Mime Troupe entertains in Aylesbury
INNOVO held a morning workshop which had a mixture of the young & older! We even had a member of our lunch club turn up for the workshop (76 years old). It was a great morning followed by a brilliant performance by INNOVO, both stirring & thought provoking. We had over 100 visitors who were all amazed and moved by the performance by INNOVO. INNOVO will be at our Sunshine Rally this year!

See pictures here

Find out more about INNOVO 

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