Dove-shaped kites, flame-coloured balloon hats and birthday cake on Stag Hill - it can only be one thing: Messy Cathedral!
As the sun shone on the hottest day in October for years, Guildford Cathedral threw open its doors to welcome nearly 600 children and their families. They came from all over the diocese and beyond to celebrate the Cathedral's 50th anniversary and the Holy Spirit, to whom it is dedicated.
An afternoon of activities was followed by an informal act of worship based on the 'weird but wonderful' story of Pentecost before a picnic tea and birthday cake outside on the grass.
Diocesan children's work adviser and event organiser Alison Hendy said: "We had a brilliant time, seeing the Cathedral full of families, children playing parachute games, dads searching the Cathedral for the Queen's brick with their sons, mums making dove-shaped kites, people of all ages writing prayers for the prayer bunting, the drumming, the amazing flags, it was all very exciting.
The sight of so many families and groups eating their picnics on the south side of the Cathedral in the late afternoon sunshine was wonderful and really gladdened my heart."
One family said: "Please can you say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved in today's Messy cathedral - we all had a lovely time and were instantly made to feel welcome. The children were so busy and were learning at the same time - my littlest was even singing from the song sheet and reading the prayers all the way home in the car."