Supporting Seniors and Keeping Connected
During this period of considerable change and disruption we are working to keep people connected and encouraged, and nurtured by God’s word.
We are reminded to ‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.’ (Romans chapter 12, verse 12)
At the heart of ministry among Seniors at All Saints is our Tiger@Ten community. This is a welcoming social group hosted each week at 10 o’clock on Tuesdays, in the Tiger building. The group was set up as a fortnightly session and thrives today with a team and membership of about 90 people. Before lockdown we enjoyed a very wide range of creative, cerebral, and physical activities and a daily short Christian talk. We know folks especially enjoyed the freshly baked cakes and biscuits and of course cheese scones!
Who is a 'Senior'?
The answer is usually ‘someone older than me’! The majority of our Tiger@Ten friends are over 70 years old, and our oldest member is 109. So while age is a just a number, Seniors is our term for older people. Originally Tiger@Ten was for people over 55 years but as the official retirement age is now 67 we might need to adjust this.
What are we doing during the COVID-19 period?
When the government asked people over 70 years old to stay indoors that included nearly all our members and most of the team! During this strange COVID 19 period we now do Tiger@Ten differently but still encourage one another to stay connected with each other and with God. We are very mindful that while many older people delight in all things digital, others do not so we try to keep in touch using as many different approaches as possible.
This is what we are doing:-
1. Keeping Connecting
We are staying in touch by telephoning, writing cards, texts and even Zoom meetings.
Each team member telephone a group of members every week to encourage one another and to help sort out any issues. These short or long conversations help to grow our friendships and have enabled people to get to know each other better.
Under Diane Flints’ editorial expert eye, a small group of us prepare our fortnightly fun newsletters to keep in touch with our members and friends. The newsletters are delivered as printed copies to those who want this format or sent as emails. The team include Diane, John Barling (all things IT), Val Hillyard, Jane Mowforth, Lindsay Norris, and me. This week we will be distributing it to 162 people.
You can download copies of our fortnightly news sheet here:
With the newsletters we have tried to add some activities and surprises. Our bird and sunflower challenge which was made possible by the Smith family.
If you want a regular copy let John Barling know and he will add you to our email list: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Christian ‘Thought for the Day’
Within each edition of the newsletter is a very short Thought for the Day written by different people.
4. Knitting project to support CARE Sri Lanka
While at home many folks have continued their involvement with knitting blankets for a project supporting Tamil Christians in Sri Lanka. Katharine Markham co-ordinates the production of these including the careful crochet work to join together all the squares. She arranges the delivery to the shipping containers that are sent out each year.
5. Practical Support
We are blessed with an amazing network within our church family to provide help during this challenging time. Many of you have family members, carers or neighbours that can and are providing essential practical help if you need it. If you feel that you don’t have any support and have an essential practical need, then a new team of volunteers ably lead by Simon Head which is here to help.
If you have a request, contact Simon who will co-ordinate a response for you.
Equally if you want to help volunteer then please email Simon your details.
His contact details are:
13 Dukes Road, Lindfield, West Sussex, RH16 2JH.
Mobile: 07732 017304
Home: 01444 482123
Do get in touch if we can support you during this unusual season.
Carrie Britton, Pastoral Assistant (Seniors)
Leave a recorded message on 01444 487540
Mobile: 07902 285436
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Who to contact?
We are blessed with an amazing network within our church family to provide help during this challenging time. Many of you have family members, carers or neighbours that can and are providing essential practical help if you need it. If you feel that you don’t have any support and have an essential practical need, then please direct that request to myself who will co-ordinate a response for you. Equally if you want to help volunteer then please email me your details.There is a support group for those at Tiger@Ten, which co-ordinated by Carrie Britton This is the core of our activities which we will expand as necessary.
Carrie's contact details are:
01444 487540 (leave a recorded message)
07902 285436 (mobile)
Thought for the Day
Have you ever seen a lark soaring up and up into the sky until it is just a tiny speck? In appearance the lark is an unremarkable little bird but as it ascends it pours out its notes –and keeps singing until it plummets back to earth. Whenever I hear the lark and look for its tiny form up high I am drawn upwards, taken out of myself and filled with joy.
I think this is why the song of the lark is the subject of so many poems and one of the most famous and much loved pieces of music:The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It is such a joyous experience.
This Thursday is Ascension Day – the day Jesus ascended into heaven after his death, burial and resurrection – 40 days after Easter. The scene is described in Acts chapter 1: The disciples were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
It could have been a time of despondency for his disciples. Jesus was suddenly gone. They were told he was coming back, but they didn’t know when.
These long days of lockdown can be a similar trial for us. We don’t know the exact time that they will end. But they will. Days after the ascension the disciples were filled with the promised Holy Spirit and were transformed into men of hope and action in spreading the good news about Jesus – that if we believe in him we will inherit eternal life and that he will return in glory to right every wrong and wipe away every tear.
I hope that the image of the soaring and returning lark will remind us of Jesus’ ascension and the certainty of his return.
Supporting Residents in Local Residential homes
Friends and relatives that we have known for decades now live in residential homes where they can receive more care and support and we have always tried to keep our connections with them. We at All Saints, together with members of the United Reform Church and the Evangelical Free Church Lindfield, have been involved with our local residential homes for many years. A rota of people from the churches faithfully share communion with groups of residents on a regular basis and host other activities. Last year together we revised and reprinted all the large print hymnbooks that are used in the homes.
During this period a few residents have been able to write letters and emails we have tried to find other solutions for others especially where they are confined to their rooms and have no other access to Christian support and encouragement.
We have loaned 5 computer tablets which can be disinfected and shared between residents which enables them to access and download Sunday services, prayers and other bible-based material.
We are also producing a bedside card for each resident in some homes so that they can be reminded that they are loved and precious, and regularly prayed for by our team.
Staff in Residential Homes
We hugely value the hard work and kindness of staff in our local Care or Nursing homes, and appreciate that their task has been made so much more difficult during this COVID 19 period.
Joanne Head organises a ‘ministry of fresh cakes’ with her wonderful team of 46 bakers. Rainbow art work by the two families have brightened up four of the homes. With cards, phone calls and ongoing prayers we continue to try to demonstrate our support, and appreciation for the local homes and our love for the staff and residents and their families.
Supporting Essential Supplies
We're pleased to recommend a local delivery service based at the Upcountry Garden Centre in Scaynes Hill. They have a well stocked supply of 'basics' including; bread, milk, fruit, vegetables, salad, eggs, pasta and soup. They are able to deliver supplies to those who are vulnerable / isolating.
To make an order please call - 01444 831311