One of my highlights last year was being part of the All Age Worship team at Spring Harvest and I was so excited that Taste were invited to be back there again working with Steve and Bekah Legg each evening.
We were at Spring Harvest for the first week this year, whereas last year we were there for week 3 at Minehead. It mean’t we were able to be there the day before which helped because we had such a long journey! Our venue was the Crazy Horse again which was brilliant for what we were going to be doing. The programme was very similar to the one from last year so I was familiar with what we were expected to do during our evenings. There were various fun elements to our evening programmes; Lion Dancing, Celebrity Scales, Worship Songs, Puppets, the Good the Bad and the Granny Pantomime, excellent talks given by Bekah and usually time to respond afterwards.
The first evening on Saturday was a joint celebration but then for the rest of the week we would have one session at 5:30-6:30 and then repeat the programme between 7-8. We found that we usually got the same people along to the different sessions which was great because we started to recognise faces and have a few good conversations.
The theme for Spring Harvest this year was Immeasurably More and so we reflected that in the All Age worship each day. We also shared a Taste song in each session which involved them and got them dancing and clapping along.
On Sunday we were invited by the childrens group to go and sing ‘Let Your Light Shine’. They seemed to love it and really got involved with the actions. Then the afternoon we headed over to Centre Stage ready for Steve Legg’s Matinee where we were performing two songs as his warm up act. He got a really great crowd along and I loved seeing him perform again.
When we were not busy we had the opportunity to go to seminars and so I went along to the ones by Rachel Gardener and Malcolm Duncan on Monday and Tuesday mornings which were about Engaging More. I also had some incredible experiences of receiving prophesy two days in a row, one from someone I had never met before who stopped me and Becky and shared things which were very relevant to us, the other from another team member the following day who said a similar thing and it encouraged me in my decisions towards next year and the path that I am going to be going on in the future. It was really cool!!!
The pantomime was a personal favourite of our evening sessions. We had the same characters as last year, but we had the privilege of having Bob Hartman (storyteller and author) being Grandma this year which was incredibly funny and he was a real asset to the team. Becky played Mad Dog, Simon was the Sheriff and we had Hannah Mills join us on the team this year which was brilliant to get to know her and hear her story.
One of the evenings we gave people the opportunity to respond to what they had heard and to pray the prayer of saying they would like to accept Jesus into their lives as Saviour. It was amazing to see the amount of hands that went up to say they had done it. There were a lot of children but also quite a lot of adults too! We also prayed for a young lad who had been taken to hospital one evening with a suspected broken elbow, to find that the next day he returned telling us it wasn’t broken!! Another little boy was with his dad in the All Age and told Joy that he had entered the venue feeling very sick, but as the band played the worship songs his tummy ache went away. Praise God!
As always the week went very quickly. Tuesday night we had the privilege of seeing Release Dance Crew perform and they were absolutely brilliant! It is very exciting to hear we will be in the same school as them at some point this year. Our final day came around and it was possibly one of the busiest ones!
However, there had been some plotting… due to my birthday being the following day, Joy realised they needed to get into the dressing room to get some of the birthday things out, but I had the key in my pocket of my leather jacket. On Wednesday morning me and Becky decided to go along to The Big Start (Nick Herbert and Tom Smith leading worship dressed as people from Star Wars = excellent!) so had an early breakfast. Someone slipped into my jacket pocket (which I had taken off) and took the key, and sneakily went to retrieve the birthday box without me knowing. However, when the team meeting came and they said they needed to get into the dressing room to be able to get costumes out for filming ready for the pantomime, I panicked because I reached into my pocket and there was no key there! I was horrified that I had lost it… little did I know that everyone was in on the plan and I looked a bit stupid! Becky ‘found’ the key and the rest is history!
After lunch on Wednesday we had to get dressed up in our pantomime outfits ready for the signing and meet and greet so that the kids from the All Age could come and see their most loved characters. I, again like last year, took one for the team and slightly suffocated in the Lion costume! We had a very quick turn around because straight after we had a soundcheck in The Hub ready for the acoustic set we were performing. It was so fun and there was a great crowd that came to see us, thanks to our friends from YFC and TCC who came to support us!!
After the final All Ages that evening we managed to pack and load the van ready to leave the following day. When I woke up the next day it was my birthday and I was very spoilt (despite having the whole day stuck in the van travelling home!!) As I came in to the team lounge for breakfast EVERYONE in there sang to me and I had a beautiful birthday table laid out with a cake and presents AND a cooked breakfast (win!!). Joy presented me with her iPad which had my whole family on Skype singing to me and giving me the chance to speak to them which was brilliant. We went to the Big Start as our final thing of the week before jumping in the (nicely decorated) van. The team took it upon themselves to sing as many times to me as possible!
After a delicious Harvester meal on the way back, some amazing presents and quite a long journey, we dropped off Simon near to Billericay and then noticed that the breaks on the van were sounding not too great, and as the journey between Billericay and Rayleigh continued we were really starting to get worried. Andy was slowing the van down by changing gear and we knew there was a possibility we wouldn’t make it back! Fortunately we made it back to Andy and Joys and had to unload the van so they could take it into repair the next day. Thank you God that it didn’t happen sooner on our 9 hour journey from Minehead!! To end my day I managed to make it along to the curry house where my friends from TCC were supporting the Navajo Mission and they had planned to get me along for a final birthday surprise. It was a brilliant (but slightly eventful) day! And I got sung to a total of 13 times!