At St Luke's church in Reigate, the evening of Halloween was spent doing crafts, playing on a giant inflatable assault course, eating hotdogs, and doing activities such as air hockey, kerplunk and skittles. This provided fun for all age groups and both sessions (one for up to ten years and one for over ten years) saw many people smiling. But why not just go trick or treating? 


Annie, the church warden said this about the typical, scary celebrations of Halloween "The Bible warns us not to be involved in any form of demonic activity or witchcraft as it is a doorway into a real and evil realm. In addition, trick or treating, whilst being seen as harmless fun, can cause anxiety and fear in elderly or vulnerable people".


The church's assistant priest, Alison, said "As Christians we believe Jesus is the light of the world and this is something to be celebrated.  For children & young people The Alternative is a space where there is the opportunity to have fun in healthy ways with a focus on light". 


"The Alternative is open to anyone to come along to,'' Alison goes on to say "And this year we had a number of people from the local community".


I asked the event's organiser, Frazer,  why he felt it was important for the alternative to go ahead. "I felt it was a good opportunity for the church" he said "and it's important to provide a safe alternative for the children so," like Annie said "they don't go knocking on vulnerable peoples doors"

When asked about the amount of effort put into the event, Frazer said "a level of commitment was needed to make sure it was fun"


So, if you haven't already made plans for next year, the Alternative is a great place for children to celebrate Halloween in the warm with friends and food. And don't worry about missing out on sweets as this year, every child went home with their own goodie bag. 


"In today’s society people’s image of church can be that it is staid, boring & not relevant to today.  We hope The Alternative may challenge some aspects of these stereotypes & encourage people to want to ask questions about who Jesus is and the relevance of him for their lives".

St Luke's also has other events coming up, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, such as their Christingle service on Christmas Eve.