CHURCHES are usually seen as peaceful, serene places of worship.
But the rulebook was ripped up at one house of God as it became a Mecca for motor racing as fans of the Scalextric game rivalled Formula One’s need for speed.
St Bartholomew’s Church in Sealand was transformed into a mini-Silverstone for a two-day race event, as the miniature cars sped round tracks at break-neck pace.
The race was on to eclipse last year’s quickest lap set by the Rev Paulette Gower, formerly vicar of St Francis’ Church in Sandycroft.
A five-metre drag race track saw four competitors at a time battle it out to cross the finish line in all-out speed duels, while one-on-one racing took place on a 15-metre track as “drivers” sought to record their fastest laps and take the chequered flag.
The event raised money for the continued refurbishment of St Bartholomew’s, with facilities being upgraded.
Churchwarden Jennifer Watson, who helped organise the event, was trackside when the Leader spoke to her.
She said: “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you always want to have a go on a big track.
“The event itself went really well and we had a lot of families turn up and spend hours with us so it was a really successful weekend.
“Everyone who attended really enjoyed themselves and we also had a lot of cyclists join us as we are close to the cycle track.
“The aim is to open up the church more and it has done that and we have had a lot more ideas of what we can do in the future.”
More than 200 people of all ages turned up at the event, arranged on the back of last year’s successful dry run
Competitors took time out for a pit stop as the regular Sunday morning service was held.
Mrs Watson said: “The money will help refurbish the church.
“Our new lighting system was switched on for the first time in August and now we are looking to upgrade the heating, kitchen and toilet facilities.”
The church has previously held model railway
Mrs Watson added: “Events like this also serve to remind people we are here and we welcome all sorts of suggestions for future activities."
Those taking to the podium at the Scalextric event were Max Cooper, 11, who set the fastest time on the five-metre track, and Bob Reynolds, who pipped Max to the finishing line on the longer track.
The next event at the church will be a craft fair on October 18 and 19.
See full story in the Leader