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St Richard’s family Mass and picnic 2004

St Richard’s School playing field was again the setting for a successful parish picnic following the family Mass - which was held in church after early rain, with more in prospect. But come midday – the rain held off and the grass was dry enough to sit on.

The Social Committee led by Mick and Penny organised the entertainment – with some vigorous activity stimulating appetites for hot food.

The steady supply of barbecued food came from Michael Oliver and his team. Friends of St Richard’s School provided soft drinks, teas and coffees.

Despite people being away on holiday - and the unseasonal weather - there was a good turnout of families and friends picnicking and enjoying this annual parish celebration. Visitors from other parishes also joined in…




Mostly it was friends and families coming together, tucking in and catching up with neighbouring parties. Everyone chipped in for the raffle, a helpful sub to the day’s expenses.

The bouncy castle of previous years gave way to Jumping Jack – robust and assaulted from all sides.

Sharp at 1.30, our red-nosed entertainer, Mr Bungle (Chris North) reported for duty.

Children clamoured to be roped in as co-entertainers and parents also let their hair down.

Competition in earnest started when a member of the school staff kicked off a soccer match, which unearthed new talent.

Scouts noted a lively new coach - soon to be signed for Petworth.


(Fr Peter’s comment on the action shot: "at long last proof (other than sore feet) of my ever having done some physical exercise.")


Fr Kieron noted, with relief, that the day had gone well. “Always impressive that our activity groups pull together so that our events go with a swing. That’s the strength of parish life!”

The Social committee is thinking about next year. Julia and Ziggi said they’re grateful, as ever, to St Richard’s School – and the Friends – and all the helpers.

But what of weather in future years - would the climate shift perhaps call for a fashionable covered-in arena – now installed at Athens – and soon at Wimbledon?

Could the resourceful Mr Bungle conjure one up for St Richard’s – like his parachute game deployed for the day? Or will it remain - a castle in the air?