Walking the Way News

olderrSale URC in Greater Manchester is an ageing congregation. When the church considered its future, it took into account the people who were part of its fellowship and the everyday realities that faced them. It found quite quickly that dementia played a huge role in the lives of many churchgoers and members. Hence ‘Dorothy’s Memory Café’ was founded.

Dorothy was a much-loved member of the community who was affected by dementia. This weekly event, which offers a chance for people affected by dementia, along with their carers and family members, to meet together for fellowship and support, gathers in her name.

Read more: Dorothy’s memory lives on

2019 12 02rTaking the call to Walk the Way quite literally, members of Knaresborough URC, in north Yorkshire, walked out of the building and into the surrounding town centre to meet neighbours and cater for their needs head on. The Revd Alan Crump tells us more.

We came to the conclusion that we should love and serve all those who work in the town centre around us after a conversation about our mission intentions. We also took the time to explore who our neighbours actually are in order that we might get to know them better.  

In our relatively small town, we were surprised to find that, there are 190 businesses in and around the centre. As a first step, we visited those that were open on Easter Saturday with a palm cross gift and a daffodil to wish them happy Easter. Twenty members faithfully delivered them and shared the joy of Easter with our neighbours. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive and a real encouragement to step out.

Read more: Walking the Way throughout the year in Knaresborough

2019 11 18rRetired Methodist youth and community worker Tom Hill from Wiltshire shares some reflections on where he senses the presence of God in everyday life.

As a small child, I was adopted by a Christian family. In my teens I became a church member, but it was another ten years before I committed myself to be a follower of the Jesus Way. On leaving school I attended technical college, then did two years national service in the RAF. When I was demobbed, I returned to the family home and worked in the family bakery business. Over the years I moved from working in the bakery and trained to be a professional youth & community worker. After some years working for a Local Authority I applied for and was appointed as a Methodist Youth Officer. Since retiring from full time work, I have worked part time for a charity supporting adults who were abused as children and have got involved in a variety of local charities as a trustee.

I became a widower some twelve years ago. That was hard. I wondered what life would bring next, now that I no longer held the roles I once did, or had my partner beside me. It was then that the message of whole-of-life discipleship, living out my faith in everyday, ordinary life, gave me hope.

Read more: Meeting Jesus Everyday

IOPTgrouprIn September 2019, 21 members of the United Reformed Church (URC) accompanied Derek Estill, Moderator of the URC General Assembly, on a visit to the Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT). It was not a tour or a holiday for any of them, but for everyone it was an immersive pilgrimage as they spent much of their time immersed in the lives of people who are among the world’s most maligned, treated as strangers in their own land. The group has produced some materials for worship and Bible study leaders this advent.

Read more: Advent materials from pilgrims on the Way of Jesus

2019 11 12r

On a visit to Central URC, in Derby, Simon Peters, Walking the Way Project Manager, learned how reflection and prayer led a congregation into community action.

Realising that many older members of the community lived in isolation and with mobility issues, the church developed a weekly ‘3Fs’ group which focuses on fellowship, food and fitness.

Every Wednesday, the church hall is filled with pensioners who choose from a range of activities that includes chair exercises, listening to music, socialising and meditation.

Read more: Fellowship, food and fitness goes a long way