THE historic Beeches Baptist Chapel in Blackheath was packed with nearly 250 children on Saturday.

Eleven different Sunday Schools were represented from Sandwell chapels and as far away as Cheltenham, Exeter and Brighton.

A marching band played Onward Christian Soldiers as a parade travelled from the chapel to Britannia Park where the children had a picnic.

The children then took part in an old fashioned sports day including egg and spoon races, relay races and other competitions.

The event ended with an awards ceremony in which the competitors received gold, silver and bronze medals.

James Zenker, pastor at Beeches Road Baptist Chapel, said: "The event was sponsored by the Crown Christian Heritage Trust; a charitable trust dedicated to preserving the Christian heritage of Great Britain.

"The trust emphasises restarting Sunday schools in empty chapels throughout England.

"Beeches Road Baptist Chapel itself was scheduled for complete closure a few years ago when a Sunday school was started."

He added: "Currently, there is not only now a thriving Sunday school in which children can learn of God's love and salvation, but also a growing church reaching out to the youth in it’s community. Closed chapels in Oxford and in Brighton were also reopened with starting evangelistic Sunday schools for children in their areas."