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Happy Birthday Celebrations for Cliff Park Church 

13th June 2019
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Cliff Park Community Church (CPCC) had fun celebrating its 20th Birthday with an outdoor picnic, a large cake, and lots of activities including the Open the Book (OTB) team acting out Bible stories
 
The church was set up by St Andrew's Parish and Gorleston Baptist churches in December 1999 but was decided to mark the event in the open air in the summer. The church birthday also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the start of Open the Book, a national organisation which sees churches going into local schools and taking assemblies with adults acting out Bible stories, often involving the children
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Cliff Park Church is based at the Ormiston Academy Junior and Infant schools at Orde Avenue and takes OTB into both of them each month. “It was good to have this as focal point of the afternoon and be able to show everyone what goes on in the schools” said Tony Mallion who hosted the picnic.  “Everyone enjoyed seeing adults dressing up and doing the stories of Creation and the Feeding of the 5000 and it all added to the fun. We were also blessed with good weather for the afternoon which was a real answer to prayer given the wind and rain we had experienced the day before”
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The church worship band, led by Lester Bullen, who was one of the three original founders of the team of musicians in 1999, provided music throughout the afternoon with Matt Ashpole from the Identity Youth Project as the speaker as well as organising sports games on the field for some of the older youngsters
 
A 20th Birthday cake was made by Lynda Lee, while a team of church members prepared picnic bags and other refreshments which were handed out to everyone who attended. The birthday cake was cut by Dorothy McCabe, one of the team who helped start CPCC and who also heads up Open the Book
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There was a fancy dress parade, pass the parcel, and an energetic game with children helping adults create the numbers two and zero from balloons
 
The Rev Mike Simm, who has been the minister of the church for 16 years, gave the closing prayer. He said the picnic had been a good opportunity for the church to celebrate and to invite the local community to join in with the party

Tony Mallion said while this was the 'un-birthday' it was exactly six months ahead of the actual anniversary which will fall on December 8th when Cliff Park will hold its annual carol service at Gorleston Pavilion. “I'm sure we can sing Happy Birthday again at the theatre”

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photos courtesy of Tony Mallion