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No passport required

No Passport Required

There’s nothing like preparing for a long anticipated holiday, is there? Navigating the torturous online booking websites where a careless ‘click’ of the mouse can result in additional charges. Forking out £70-odd quid for a new passport. Enduring jabs against those exotic diseases (ouch!) and trying on last year’s swimsuit only to discover that it’s mysteriously shrunk (how did that happen?) Surely there must be an easier way, and there is – HOLIDAY AT HOME!

I don’t mean actual ‘home’, of course – if you’re anything like me that wouldn’t be a holiday at all, surrounded by the ironing pile and last night’s washing up, but from August 2 – 7, St Mary’s Church organises a holiday right here in Reigate.

During this time this popular scheme based in the Chart Lane Community Centre provides trips and activities of all sorts, and ‘holiday-makers’ can join in with as many or as few as they choose.

This year there will be a trip to The Watercress Line for lunch on a steam train, and a river cruise on the Solent launching from the pretty town of Emsworth.

Closer to home there will be the chance to go on local guided walks, and have a go at line dancing, and if all that sounds far too energetic there will be a fascinating talk entitled, ‘Round the British Isles’ which won’t involve listeners taking a step.

Other Centre-based activities planned for the week include painting, woodcraft, cake decoration, card making and even conjuring!


The cost is minimal – lunch at the centre is £5 and although there is a charge for the outings, activities in the centre are free.

St Mary’s has been running this scheme for several years and it is immensely popular with locals and is open to people of any age, and when different generations socialise together in joint pursuits, it benefits everyone, meeting new people and sharing ideas.

For the very young, St Mary’s is also running an Olympic-themed Holiday Club during the following week for children of primary school age.

From August 8 – 10 (9.30am-2.30pm) there will be games, drama, cooking, arts & craft, and lots more. Children are supervised throughout so it can mean a ‘holiday’ for parents as well as their children!

One regular, Dorothy, has been coming along to Holiday at Home for years. She loves it all but says what she values most are the friendships she has made. It’s great to make friends when we go away but St Mary’s has something to offer that a 5 Star hotel on the Mediterranean may not – friends who are nearby for the rest of the year, and maybe for the rest of our lives.

For more information contact St Mary’s Church Office Tel: 01737 221100 Email: Web:

By Sarah Ballingal

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