Churchgoers enjoy an Outside the Walls event on the Downs

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On a sunny Sunday morning, in beautiful surroundings, around 250 - 300 members of Methodist churches in South Bedfordshire gathered for an open-air service close to the Dunstable Downs Visitor Centre.

Most churches in the South Bedfordshire Methodist Circuit closed their doors for this special occasion, in order to take the Christian message to the public arena.

The National Trust was thanked for their kind co-operation and assistance in granting permission for the service to take place on their land.

Worshippers met to sing, pray and share in various readings, aided by a tremendous contribution from a lively worship band and youth choir representing different churches in the region.

Bible stories were shared by way of an interactive “Open the Book” presentation.

Tremendous fun was had when 39 kites were made and flown, and as a gesture of goodwill towards the National Trust, many of those present took part in a voluntary litter pick.

Hundreds of leaflets were distributed to passers-by, providing information about local Methodist churches and offering a warm invitation to regular weekly activities and Sunday services.

A frequent comment put to the organisers of the event was “When can we do this again?” and ideas for another such occasion will now be considered.

All in all, a great time was had by everyone present, and the “Outside the Walls” declaration of faith was agreed to be an uplifting and worthwhile effort.

Celebrations concluded with a picnic which not even a brief shower could discourage as worshippers remained to share food together and reflect on this unique gathering.