The Unitarians at Kingswood opened their doors to the local community on the day of the Royal Wedding. Posters went up in the vicinity, and flyers were handed out in the weeks leading up to the big day. On the evening before, a small band of volunteers decorated the grounds with bunting and flags.
On the day itself, over 100 people gathered in the chapel hall to watch the wedding on the big screen. As soon as the couple were married, champagne and wedding cake was handed out to the assembled crowd. After the wedding, everyone went out into the chapel garden where there were games and activities for the children. Tables had been set up and folk began to share the food that they had brought with them. A number of old cars were on display – particularly popular with the children – and a 1950s army truck had been turned into a catering wagon and served tea and cake. Another 50 – 60 people trickled in as the afternoon went on, and the day was enjoyed by all.
Rev. Ant Howe, minister at Kingswood, said: “It was great to welcome so many from the local community to Kingswood for our party. We were pleased that a number of Unitarians from other churches in our District also joined us. Now that we know that Kate Middleton comes from Unitarian stock, it seemed right that we should celebrate the Royal Wedding!”
The garden party was one of the many ways the Kingswood congregation tries to seve the local community. A weekly coffee morning attracts many from the locality. Lunch is served twice a month for the price of £1, and the congregation are continually looking for ways to meet the needs of the local population. Ant says “It never ceases to amaze me how innovative and hard-working the Kingswood members are. They look for every opportunity to welcome others. The Royal Wedding Garden Party was typical of their generous spirit which is deeply ingrained in their liberal faith.”