Over the years our Church hall
has been the venue for many and diverse activities from the weekly toddler
playgroup, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, majorettes, table tennis and dog training
as well as jumble sales and numerous personal and family celebrations for
birthdays, weddings and anniversaries and lots, lots more. However, the evening of the 3rd of
May 2008 was certainly a first, The Church Centenary Dinner.
We arrived at the Church Hall
at about seven fifteen and joined the assembled group of people who were
already chatting to each other. Posh
frocks, and suits and ties were very much in evidence even from the youngest
members of the group and everyone looked very nice for this special occasion.
As we entered the hall Jessie
pointed out a table on our left which was held a place setting card, the idea
being that the guest wrote their name and then found a place at one of the
tables where they would like to sit. I
thought this was a good idea as it gave people the opportunity to choose their
dinner companions instead of having a place imposed on them. Also, like the Easter breakfast it served to
mix up groups of people that wouldn’t usually spend time together. We wrote our names and started to look around
the hall to find a space where we could all sit together,
having Jessie with me I thought that should keep an eye on her!
The top table had been arranged
across the width of the hall close to the stage and the other tables had been
arranged in groups in a sort of abstract z shape around the rest of the
hall. The tables had been dressed very
nicely with white tablecloths and neat little flower vases of daffodils, tea
light candles and bowls of fruit. The
top table had a special arrangement of purple flowers, which looked very
striking from across the hall.
We were joined for our
celebrations by The Rt Rev. John Broadhurst,
the Bishop of Fulham, and his wife Judy who started the evening by meeting and
chatting with as many people as they could.
The Bishop seemed to be a very pleasant, friendly man who had a happy
knack of talking to the children in our group and had both of my children
giggling in no time at all.
On a table at the side of the
hall there was a display of photos relating to the past hundred years of
St. Michael’s history. It is always interesting to see the way we
were and this was no exception. I very
much enjoyed the display and would like to have had more time to spend looking
Promptly at seven-thirty,
Father David announced dinner was about to be served and we took our
seats. Bishop John said Grace and we sat
in anticipation of our meal. Soon the
“waiters,” Nigel, Martin, and Paul appeared carrying plates of smoked salmon
and prawns, which they distributed rapidly.
This was followed by a selection of rolls and butter. Next came the main
course, roast beef with all the trimmings it said on the menu card and indeed
there were! A plate groaning under the weight of beef, roast potatoes, carrots,
cauliflower, broccoli and Yorkshire pudding arrived in front of me. It was very nice. Again the empty plates were taken and shortly
replaced by a delightful looking fruit slice with vanilla cream and a little
chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse topped off with a fresh
raspberry. It really looked to pretty to
eat but we did anyway! Finally came the cheese selection and biscuits. I am surprised anyone managed to find it
possible to eat any more food, but we did and it was very nice.
At this point, I was reminded
that I had promised to take some photograph of the evening. Having taken photos of many people in the
hall, I headed off to the kitchen trying not to get under the feet of the
waiters who were rushing in and out.
Carol and Penny both looked in very good sprits
considering the amount of work they were doing and the mountain of dirty plates
that were appearing ready to be washed up.
Martin and Paul were trying to snatch a well-earned cup of coffee and
Paul obviously needed an energy boost as he spooned in several heaped spoons of
The meal took place to a
background of gentle classical music and the buzz of conversation going on
around the room punctuated by laughter.
The meal ended with coffee and chocolate mints and I had to admit
defeat. It was a lovely meal and a very
enjoyable evening. After the meal, the
raffle, organised by Norma, was drawn and the prizes distributed to the
winners. Bishop John made a short speech
thanking us for inviting him to join our celebration and apologizing for being
unable to join us for our Centenary Service.
Father David brought Carol,
Penny, Nigel, Martin, and Paul in from the kitchen and said thank you to them for all
their hard work. He did suggest that as
they had done such a good job that perhaps we should do it all again next
Saturday! “The Staff” as he called them were not keen! As always there is a great deal of hard work
that goes in to arranging these events by all sorts of people and they all
deserve a very big thank you for making it a really enjoyable evening. The evening ended and people began to drift
off home. It was a lovely evening.
Written by Sue