You arrive at 18:00pm one hour before the guests arrive. By then, Mary and I will have almost or completely finished setting up the Wilberforce room – you are familiar with the layout if you have graduated from one of our courses.
Here’s the Host Couple’s job in detail for an evening at The Marriage Preparation Course:
When setting out, bring an apron and your “Marigolds” for serving food/washing up, and two or three tea towels for drying up because it’s easier to wash plates and drain on the large trays that go into the commercial dishwasher than to actually use the machine, and definitely easier with the wine glasses.
We need you help to complete the job, arranging tables, lighting candles, setting out drinks, setting out the drinks table, and the serving / registration table, and maybe writing out ‘name labels’. You should receive the food being delivered at the kitchen door and set it out ready to serve upstairs.
About 6:45pm we pray together for the course and the guests. Steve & Mary might eat early, so that they can be free from 7pm to 7:30pm to greet guests with you and deal with any issues like absence, borrowing CDs, buying books, or even pastoral issues.
At 7:00pm you would welcome guests; one of you needs to man the door and direct them up, though by week four they should know where to go, and won’t accidentally end up in the Alpha Course!
As guests arrive, it’s a neat idea to discover what hot drink everybody wants later during the long exercise. This makes it more efficient to make and deliver teas, coffees, and infusions with a sweet.
The course starts at 7:30pm and you can eat the food you kept back after serving everyone; welcome latecomers and make sure they don’t feel bad about eating their dinner during the session. We suggest that the washing up be started sooner rather than later (aiming to clear the plates before the first session starts) This is because the Alpha task force ladies will be using the kitchen as well and so starting early means we can avoid crowding the kitchen.
Approx 8:30pm you should have hot drinks ready, and we’ll serve those together and then have a good chat ourselves, and checklist what happens next in detail.
Approx 8:50pm you might be welcoming a guest couple to be interviewed, but this term we decided against “Live Interviews” because “Recorded Live Interviews” are just better. So instead you would be starting to clear up outside the room while we deliver the final part of the session. That means taking cups and jugs to wash in the kitchen, and storing away our resources in our heavy plastic boxes which we leave for the site team to store next day. We also leave all the chairs and tables out for the vergers 🙂
Approx 9:30pm the couples leave and Steve & Mary can be kept talking to them – which is a good thing, However, we soon join together all four of us to clear the tables of cloths & candles, books and pens and stuff all go back in the boxes, and we’re all done and locking up before 10:00pm
Steve & Mary are happy to give a lift home by car after the event, if that helps.