17th - Supporting people through home visiting
For some people, the church can be a bit like a Tardis: it’s much bigger on the inside than it appears to be from the outside. We know our particular church building, squeezed between York Road and Mount Hermon Road in Woking, is a bit like that. It’s almost invisible from the road but, for those who step inside, there is a whole community which comes together, worships together, supports each other and serves our wider community.
In this series for Advent we want to open some windows so everyone can see a bit more of who we are and what goes on in a church like ours.
Have you ever wondered how other people get on in life with its little, and larger, ups and downs? Behind the no grumbling and behind the smiles? Well, I hadn’t really until I was offered an opportunity to get involved about 18 months ago. Would I be a volunteer in the pastoral care team? I knew I had an interest in people, especially those with a tale to tell about their lives, so I looked to support a few retired people in our church and started to understand better life’s challenges. The team supports people of all ages.
Through conversations, often punctuated with laughter, I have learnt about mission work all over the world, personal histories of life down the years in Woking, how people have met Christ and what role He plays in their lives. What do I do in return? It depends what is needed and this varies over time. Occasionally it is support during a medical appointment, sometimes just a chat and maybe a sympathetic ear with prayer and encouragement.
Fortunately, I love a good cup of tea and these are frequently part of building the friendships – I am (hopefully!!) sure this Christmas there will also be the odd mince pie or slice of Christmas Cake thrown in too.
Volunteer on St Mary of Bethany Pastoral Care Team