22nd - Besom
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.
I was born in Woking hospital. I grew up and went to school in Addlestone. When I left school I worked in various kinds of engineering, including with the MOD in Chobham, where I did a traineeship and got a B.Tec in engineering. For the last 22 years of work I was in Engineering in BA at Heathrow. During this time I was divorced and remarried. We started going to church because we took my mother in law.
I have been retired now for 8 years. I wanted to 'put something back' into the community and my good friend Chris persuaded me to join him as a volunteer at Besom. (This Besom is a broom sweeping away poverty).
It is a nationwide charity but is affiliated to local churches. Local people donate goods which are collected by Besom volunteers to give to those who need them. They give household goods ranging from pots and pans to bedding, furniture and white goods. We only accept things which are in good condition because the aim is to bless people.
I work on a Friday. We meet at a large shed/store room/office on the outskirts of Chobham at 9.30am. We have a worship time together and then a cup of tea or coffee and discuss the day's schedule. Then we are on our way! I normally work on or drive the van. We do about 8 deliveries and pickups in a day. We often have a lunch break in a team members house.
Before we deliver to a client we go and meet them and assess their needs and wants. As these items are donated we deliver them to a recipient. It is amazing how often things are donated soon after they are requested! Thank you, God! Ideally, we pick up and deliver on the same day as our storage space is very limited! We always offer to pray with recipients and their family and this offer is often taken up.
Besom is always looking out for extra helpers. There are various jobs, big and small. Time givers and donations always welcomed.
Chris Taylor (pictured on the right in the photo)