FOR the first time since the start of the recession, the young
people of St George's, Hanworth Park, in west
London, were able to go on a holiday to Adventure
International, in Bude, Cornwall, thanks to a Lottery grant.
Although Hanworth Park sounds like a pleasant London suburb
close to Heathrow, the Revd Paul Williamson (above) tells
me that there is a lot of deprivation in the ethnically mixed area,
and not many of the 25 members (with a few friends) of the St
George's Youth Club who went could have afforded the full £400 for
the week's holiday - let alone for the second week they were soon
clamouring for. By all accounts, they had a whale of a time.
They travelled in two packed minibuses, followed by a van with
their luggage accompanied by seven adult leaders. Each day started
with an early-morning run or swim before breakfast, and later there
were "some amazing activities". Climbing, canoeing, surfing,
mountain biking, abseiling, dragon-boat racing, and kayaking were
all on offer - most of them offering a chance to get very wet
Each evening, the games room, disco hall, and football pitch
were fully used, and there was a TV room for the exhausted. There
were competitions, karaoke, and fancy dress. The equipment was
excellent, Fr Williamson says, and there were some very pleasant
instructors; and the St George's group were declared the
best-behaved and most trouble-free group ever.
Among the young people were a 16-year-old youth-leader, his
cousin, and an air cadet - all Muslims, and all of a similar age.
The joined in everything, even the mass, for which Fr Williamson
tells me had brought a full set of high-church accoutrements. The
young Muslims were "astounded", he said: one of them commented that
they "didn't know that Christians took their religion so