St Paul’s Annual trip to the seaside this year comprised mostly of local people ranging from 55 to nearly 80 year olds. Many welcomed the opportunity to see a clear uninterrupted sky for the first time in the year compared to the high rise edifices of urban London with its Ulex Zones and traffic calming bollards.
The 86 mile trip from London to Walton on the Naze began in Lorrimore Square and took nearly three hours, traversing Chelmsford and Colchester and arriving at Walton Pier before the afternoon. It seems our planning this time was impeccable as the tide was rushing out just as we arrived, allowing plenty of time for paddling before the expected in-tide at 4.00pm.
The weather was kind to us as the expected rain did not arrive and the weather, although not summer hot, was warm enough to allow paddling in the sea which was lovely on the feet and calves. It reminded us how vital it was to get out of the city and be at one with the rhythms of the sand, sea and sky on a lovely summer’s day.
Fish and chips was the order of the day as soon as we landed. Then an exploration of the very long pier comprising the usual arcade amusements. We have been coming to Walton for a few years now as we know how the town works and the entertainments that are available. We were glad to see this season that the over reliance of slot machines had been replaced by the installation of more rides, including a virtual reality 360 simulation, more shooting games for the kids and of course dodgems which surprisingly most of the older parishioners engaged in this year!
Our deputy church warden did a sterling job and managed to haggle a day pass so everyone could have a chance at the rides. The kids were a great help to the parishioners, carrying bags from the coach, looking after luggage and helping their grandparents up and down stairs from the loos in the town centre.
Our selfie queen was in full paparazzi mode as she took photos of everyone to help document the experience. And after a long and fruitful day our Church Warden led us in prayer for the journey back where most of us enjoyed a quiet snooze on the journey back to London. All in all a delightful day and we thank Southwark Charities for making it possible this year.