17th December     Hut 225 - Hove Seafront
18th December     Hut 82 - Hove Lawns
19th December     Hut 341 - Hove Seafront
20th December     Hut 437 - Hove Lagoon
1st-24th December     Beach Hut Advent Calendar
 
BEYOND CHURCH BLOG

BEYOND BLOG

13th December - Hut 94





Advent is a season of waiting and expectation which is why Advent Calendars were invented in the first place - as a way of marking that waiting and enhancing the countdown to Christmas Day.







Hut 94 posed an Advent question for us - what are we waiting for?  This was marked out as a giant question mark made up of tea lights that sat in front of the hut which only had the doors open a crack, giving a hint of what was beyond.





People who came along were invited to take a sparkly star and write a prayer or question of their own on it before placing it underneath one of the tea lights so that they glittered in the candle light.  

These prayers will be taken back to Chichester Cathedral and added to a prayer installation there.



 The next hut is 332 and back in the section between the King Alfred centre and Hove Lagoon and will feature the Dawn Chorus.


12th December - Hut 79a



Halfway through our final Beach Hut Advent Calendar and this was our first really cold night.  There was a constant, bitter wind blowing from the East all evening which brought a real Arctic chill to the seafront.







Tamara and her team from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Holmsted Manor battled against the wind to keep their stars relatively still by tethering them with nylon, rock weights and gaffer tape.



Three simple stars (Trinity?) were emblazoned with a single word each - GOD - IS - INTERESTED.



Many characters in the nativity story were interested in the birth of the Saviour of the World, so interested that they followed the star to find the baby in the stable.










The Angels travelled from heaven to deliver the good news, the Shepherds travelled to Bethlehem to see this wonderful thing and the Wise Men travelled from the East to find the newborn king.







All of this pilgrimage is caused because God shows such interest in us by coming to Earth and bringing light into the darkness.






















Part of the Christian message throughout the Advent season and at Christmas is that we affirm that God is.
















 The next hut is number 94 which is also beside Hove Lawns.







11th December - Hut 253




Hut 253 presented us with a whole scene of star followers and the hint of a nativity for the first time this year.

Annelies Clarke was the artist who created this wonderful image.






The foreground consisted of three shadowy figures heading away from us, towards Bethlehem which was very small in the distance at the bottom of the hut.  



If you looked closely you could see a tiny silhouette of the stage which would be their final destination.

Above this stable was a beautiful golden star with rays of light beaming out to all corners of the sky which was strewn with a constellation of stars which dripped across the blue backdrop which was itself made up of stars.




Hidden in the distance behind the stars was a silvery choir of heavenly angels, just visible through the sparkling firmament as they made their way towards the holy scene taking place in Bethlehem.













Added to all this beauty in the hut was a fantastic choir who sang in perfect harmony for almost the whole hour of the hut opening.


Tomorrow we head East to hut 79a beside Hove Lawns.







10th December - Hut 262



You may have heard that necessity is the mother of invention and that was the background to hut 262 tonight.  







Sadly the owner and artist was delayed coming back to the  UK from a trip abroad and so was mid-air this afternoon and unable to come and create an art installation or even to open the hut.






So emergency artistic juices got to wor k and we were able to create an installation projected onto the front of the hut thanks to a little time and the wonders of modern technology.






We had a small, self-powered projector running a star-shaped animation of the journey to Bethlehem and all those who followed the star to find the baby born in the manger.





This turned the whole front of the beach hut into a mini seafront cinema as we watched the animation and listened to a beautiful version of 'Silent Night'.

It was a mesmerising show and all those who came along tonight watched it a number of times in quiet contemplation. 




The animation was originally created by Jon Birch and distributed through Proost and was adapted for tonight, placing the animation within a star and adding and end tag saying "Follow the Star".

The full video is below.

Tomorrow we're at hut 253 with a professional artist and a full choir.








9th December - Hut 402




We trekked to hut 402 tonight, following a beautiful crescent moon all the way to Hove Lagoon.  

There we found a symphony in blue courtesy of the Mother's Union of Chichester Diocese.  



There are branches of the Mother's Union all over East and West Sussex and the two main contributors to the hut tonight were the Saltdean and Hurstpierpoint chapters.




There is a deep association between the colour blue and Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she is almost always depicted wearing blue.  There are various explanations for this but the most practical is that blue was made from lapis lazuli which was more precious than gold due to it's rarity and therefore was a highly prized colour, and therefore fit for the mother of God.






Mary is also sometimes referred to as 'The Star of the Morning' because as the morning star announces the dawn, so Mary announces the birth of the Saviour.







At the threshold of the hut tonight was a Mother's Union kneeler set before a dish containing a small nativity scene and some homemade star biscuits emblazoned with the Mother's Union logo.


The next hut is in the middle of Hove seafront and is number 262







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