Every year, the day before Palm Sunday, the young Christians in the parish hold a coffee morning to raise funds for the nominated Lent appeal (this year for the work of the Church Army).
At the beginning of Lent the children are given smarties in tubes – once they’ve eaten the smarties they fill the tubes with pennies and bring them to the coffee morning for the line of pennies. They had a bric a brac stall and a second hand toy stall outside the church, while in the parish hall tea/coffee and cakes were available all morning. At noon Lent Lunch was provided by the Fellowship group.
This is followed in the afternoon by the Duck Race which always takes place on the river Ouze, at the Millfield by Stony Stratford (unless the weather is so unpleasant that it makes the river completely unsafe). Last year the Duck race winners were declared by drawing ducks (of the plastic variety) from the bag because the weather was awful, this year however we were able to hold the race as usual. The ducks (over 100) are thrown into the river at the weir and the first three ducks past the finish mark win the prizes. The currents are always unpredictable and only a few ducks broke free of the swirling return to the weir. 48, 49 and 25 came in first, second and third respectively. Fishing them out of the river with long handled fishing nets is all part of the fun and it is quite a gathering of parish family.
Photos of the Young Christians Coffee morning and the Duck Race are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157643854651444/