2013 Inspire Awards: the admin dynamo behind wide-reaching holiday clubs
The Encounter Trust, a Christian charity based in High Wycombe “enables around 1,700 kids to hear the gospel in a fun way – many for the first time” ...
The Encounter Trust, High Wycombe – providing an administration hub for Lighthouse holiday clubs in the area
The Encounter Trust, a Christian charity based in High Wycombe, as Philip Coram puts it, “enables around 1,700 kids to hear the gospel in a fun way – many for the first time”. As the administration provider to Lighthouse, the Encounter Trust makes youth work possible throughout Wycombe and beyond.
Founded in 2006, Lighthouse High Wycombe is a Christian summer holiday club, providing interactive activities based on age groupings. Aimed at families with children 11 years and younger, the Lighthouse camps operate free of charge to all students. Combining performing arts, crafts, music, games, and other active mediums, these clubs are on a huge scale.
As Philip says, “an enormous amount of work goes on behind the scenes to make a holiday club of this size happen.” Running entirely on donations, the huge volume of administrative back up provided by the Encounter Trust – including but not limited to supplying registrations, equipment and more than 1,000 volunteers – are extremely beneficial.
“I believe that without the Encounter Trust doing so much of that admin work behind the scenes, Lighthouse just couldn't take place – and that would be a tragedy”, Philip said. “Seeing my own children mature at Lighthouse is one of the most exciting things I have experienced as a dad.”
Additionally, the Encounter Trust planned and organized ‘Love Wycombe’ on the past two consecutive Pentecost Sundays in Frogmoor. The fruit of the Trust’s labours was the gathering of more than 40 Wycombe area churches, with hundreds of participants. As well as getting many congregations together, the function also helped local charitable organizations Wycombe Youth for Christ and One Can Trust. This event was inspired by Jesus’ message of unity during the Last Supper in John 17. “The vision of Love Wycombe,” as identified on their webpage, “is to bring Christians in our town together, as one voice, in unity.”
Philip credits the leadership of Dr Richard Peters as a crucial reason for the Encounter Trust’s achievements. In addition to regular involvement in a local youth group and providing worship music for both Lighthouse and his church, “he's also set up and run the Lighthouse style Sunday school each week called K.O.S.M.I.C.”, Philip said. “If that wasn't enough he also set up a monthly café style fresh church expression especially for young people and their parents in the village hall where he lives.”
The Encounter Trust states their mission is “to advance the Christian faith in the UK for the benefit of the public.” Whether through Love Wycombe events or the gatherings at the Lighthouse holiday clubs, they are doing just that.
“Dr Richard Peters is, supposedly, just an ordinary guy who works as a specialist software developer and is also good at admin”, Philip says. “I'd like to challenge that by saying that his tiny admin charity has enabled more children to experience the love of God in the High Wycombe area than anyone else.”
Find out more about Lighthouse and Love Wycombe at www.lighthouseadmin.org.
Nominated by Philip Coram in the Youth & Children's category of the 2013 Inspire Awards