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22 November 2017

Going deeper together

Gregg Ramirez Gregg Ramirez Church member
Life Group (Gregg) - nearly all of the group

So, fifteen adults… seven children and infants in a large isolated farmhouse reached by very narrow single track roads… in November… Would that be your recipe for an exciting weekend? Gregg Ramirez reports on a Lifegroup weekend away.

That was the choice for the first weekend away together for our Lifegroup. It was near Bridport in the beautiful Dorset countryside, and over the Bonfire weekend.

Although we have been a group for five years now based in the East of Southampton, this was the first time we have been away together. Nearly all of the group were able to make it too, which was great.

It was a super location and outstanding accommodation, well researched and organised by Suzi Chapman! We gathered over the afternoon and early evening on Friday to enjoy a couple of days filled with good company — food and fun.

Life Group (Gregg) - dinosaur cook

The first surprise was Matt and Kate Gard — along with recently arrived baby Emily — making a late decision to join us, an absolute joy!

it was very useful to have Jake Deacon slipping naturally into the ‘child wrangler’ role for the weekend. Thanks Jake!

Life Group (Gregg) - child wrangler

For all of us, it was about sharing time together, and taking the opportunity to go to a deeper level of friendship. It was brilliant to see how the children really enjoyed sharing time together as well.

Not everyone in the party was a Christian, which reflects how we have been from the outset as a Lifegroup. We have regularly used ‘third places’ — pubs, cafes, restaurants (etc.) to meet together and allow our Christian conversation, seasoned with Jesus, to draw others in.

Saturday saw us load up a few of the cars and head off to West Bay to explore the beach used in the TV series ‘Broadchurch’. Well, it would have been rude to miss it as we were so close by. Then we drove further down the coast to Lyme Regis for lunch. The weather was so good that some even ventured into the sea — paddling not swimming!

Life Group (Gregg) - chilli dogs

Late afternoon we drifted back to the farmhouse for a tea of chilli dogs, before going into Bridport for a local fireworks display, which was spectacularly good.

Life Group (Gregg) - fireworks

Then, with the children bedded down, it was games night till late.

Life Group (Gregg) - bedtime stories

On Sunday morning after a lazy late breakfast/brunch we shared a simple Communion service together, led by Tiff Allcock.

The weekend just felt right. Nothing forced, just a great time together, enjoying God’s amazing creation and each other’s company.

Chatting with Paul Webber by text, he said, ‘A weekend together is better than a year of homegroups…’

I think he might have something there — we are already planning next year!

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