Scrums of praise at festival

Ady White, Martin Russell; (bottom row) Zoe Tansur, Tom Pedler (14), Beth Pedler (13), and Gary Pedler at Harborough Baptist Church
Ady White, Martin Russell; (bottom row) Zoe Tansur, Tom Pedler (14), Beth Pedler (13), and Gary Pedler at Harborough Baptist Church

A six-week festival of family-friendly events around the Rugby World Cup has been created by Harborough Baptist Church.

The Festival of Rugby will include all England games being projected onto a huge 10ft screen plus a family breakfast, Songs of Praise, messy church, Rugby World Cup quiz and the grand final with a Light Party.

An action-packed weekend is planned for the launch.

On Friday, September 18, the opening ceremony and the first game – England v Fiji – is on the big screen in the decorated halls, entrance in Manor Walk.

There are also free drinks, hot dogs and face painting. Doors open 6.45pm.

The Family Breakfast is on Saturday, September 19, at Enigma Cafe Bar from 8.30am.

Hear from guest David Chawner, London Wasps chaplain for 10 years and now chair of Sports Chaplaincy UK, and see videos of rugby players.

Limited places must be booked in advance at the church on 01858 410693.

Everyone is invited to sing or listen to the most popular hymns or rugby anthems on Sunday, September 20, from 10am.

Bleddyn Jones will talk about his role as a BBC Radio Leicester rugby commentator and former Tigers fly-half who played more than 300 times, scoring 42 tries.

This special ‘Songs of Praise’ is at the Baptist Church, in Coventry Road. People can vote for their favourite hymn or anthem by calling at the church from Monday to Friday, September 14 to 18, from 10am to 4pm and look at a gifts exhibition and harvest displays. Alternatively, people can vote in the New Horizons Coffee Shop in Manor Walk by picking up a voting slip, ticking their favourites and putting it in the voting box.

“The Rugby World Cup is huge and it’s in the UK. We want to celebrate it with family-friendly ‘no alcohol’ fun events. Everyone is invited and most events are free,” said Gary Pedler, one of the festival organisers.

The following weekend sees England v Wales on the big screen on Saturday, September 26, doors open 7.15pm. A rugby special Messy Church is on Sunday, 27th, with crafts, puppets and tea for families with children between 3-5pm.