Methodist Association of Youth Clubs

Photo:Tomorrow's leaders of the Church...

Tomorrow's leaders of the Church...

Methodist Recorder

London Weekends

By Gill Jewell

I recognise that the 70s and 80s are considered to be the heyday of MAYC, but for my generation it was the 50s with the Rev Len Barnett.

London Weekend was the highlight of the year. Our club, being near to London, in St Albans, several times entertained guest clubs from more distant parts of the country camping overnight at the church or in our homes.

We took part in the action at the Royal Albert Hall over several years either in the arena or in the choir conducted by Steve Race.  I still have some of the music we sang.  One year the opening theme involved hundreds if not thousands of spring flowers, daffodils and tulips, which we participants were required to make out of crepe paper. That kept us busy for many weeks!

The Saturday morning Congress was held in Westminster Central Hall and later in the Royal Festival Hall.  In 1956 the Methodist Recorder printed the account of the weekend with a photograph of the members of the Congress. The caption (prophetically!) read:

“Tomorrow’s leaders of the Church, or some of them, seen at the MAYC Congress held in the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London, as part of a well-organised, well attended, and inspiring week-end for young Methodist guild members.”

Two of our members could clearly be seen (4th row, extreme left).  They are now both supernumary ministers: the Rev. Roger Lee, and the Rev. Dr Albert Jewell whom I married several years later.  We celebrated our Golden Wedding in 2012!

This page was added by Gill Jewell on 05/02/2013.
Comments about this page

My father was President of MAYC about fifty years ago, he was Bram Sharpe, it was when Rev. Gordon Turner was at Head office in Muswell Hill, any information?

By Enid shepherd
On 03/09/2013

Hi I was Warden of MAYC Centre 'Plas Yr Antur' in Fairbourne N. Wales from 1969 to 78. The Centre is now an RAF Training Establishment with a 'shed load of cash' spent on refurbishment During the end of my time as Warden our staff attended the 'London Weekend' to advertise our work at the Centre. Around 1955/56 cannot remember exactly but our Boys Brigade Band from Middlesborough gave a display in the Royal Albert hall. I carried the Mace and I was in the RAF at the time. Wonderful memories. Bram Sharpe interviewed me for the Wardens job in 69

By Julian Kirkham
On 09/09/2013

I still have my beret with the yellow tassel we wore at earlier London Weekends, music at the choir with Steve Race, badges on a yellow and green scarf and also programmes. Went for almost 20 years to the London weekends. Loved it and in the arena several times. Those days were precious. Todays youth don't know what they are missing. Completed 38 years of Youth Work volunteering for a wonderful job.

By Glennis Rogerson
On 07/02/2014

When London Weekends first started a few hundred visitors to London were put up in the Clapham South Deep Tube shelter right under the running tracks of London Underground. These tunnels were an air raid shelter during the war, and bored before the war for an underground service that in the end did not happen. I was one of the wardens and well remember hearing the trains rumbling overhead at night. Did any one reading this ever sleep there?

By David Restarick
On 11/02/2014

Rev.Len Barnett, together with Revs.Kenneth Greet & Allen Birtwhistle, played a key part in my early developments as a Christian Disciple at the Methodist Youth Department's Christian Leadership Summer Schols at Eastwood Grange, Ashover, Derbyshire in 1956 & 1957. It was at these amazing action-packed events that I recognized the beginnings of a Call to the Methodist Ministry. My wife & I retired 12 years ago to nearby Chesterfield, & some wonderful memories have begun to flood back. Thank you, Lord, for these three great saint, now praising you in Glory, & for all the many lives you have blessed through their ministries.

By David J.Griffiths
On 18/02/2014

Going with my South Wimbledon YC to Saturday and Sundays at Royal Albert Hall. Netball or 5a side-football finals on Saturday nights. Having other MAYC clubs staying the weekend.

By Richard irons
On 03/04/2014

Regarding David Restarick's comment  on 11/02/2014 about Clapham South Deep Shelter; Seventeen or so travelled from Providence Methodist Church Halesowen by steam train from Birmingham, staying in Clapham. Among them was a young girl, now my wife of 53 years. We are both active members of the above Church. You may wish to have a look at its  website, I did the history pages.

Your page brought back many memories

  

By Derek Trickett
On 12/05/2014

I attended these week-ends twice about 1949/50   One occasion was called "Young, Strong and Free", and I took the part of a Roman soldier carrying the Cross.   A choir sang the Easter Hymn from Cavallera Rusticana, and the soloist was Betty Brooks.  Anybody out there who remembers this?  I too slept in Clapham South Underground, and breakfast was in a Church Hall.  Rev Douglas Griffiths was very much involved, also the Youth Secretary of the London South-West District, Leonard Bowers.  He had a son, who, I believe became a Minister.

By Aubrey Vaughan
On 30/05/2015

Attended London Weekend at its inception. What a leap of faith "Griff" took when he agreed to act as guarantor financially for the hire of the Royal Albert Hall when others were not so sure. I also remember the Camden Town Shelter with its rows and rows of bunk beds. It seemed miles to walk for breakfast!!  As someone else has remarked no sleep - but who cared. MAYC brought so many young people to Christ and I hope their work is never forgotten. 

 

By alma bartley
On 08/08/2015

We enjoyed MAYC in the 1990s. Does the London weekend still continue, if not when did it end? I have a few badges and T shirt if anyone is collecting them...

By Mary Hayes
On 10/12/2016

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