It’s been holiday time at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Four Marks this week as some 50 people gathered there for the church’s first ‘Holiday at Home’. The Church hosted a holiday event for three days to give those who might not be able to travel the chance to enjoy themselves with friends this summer.
The holiday was aimed at older people, many of whom are unable to get away on their own holidays. The church organised lifts for anyone requiring them and laid on activities including exercises, crafts, jigsaws, games, musical entertainment, quizzes, a film about the history of Four Marks and a “thought for the day” . While the Four Marks lunch club provided lunch, funding came from the church, the local Women’s Institute and Four Marks and Medstead councillor Ingrid Thomas.
The holiday at home was organised by a team from the church. Lisa Bonter, who runs regular ‘tea and chat’ and ‘tea and bowls’ sessions for older people, wanted to do something special for summer. “A lot of those attending are not from the church congregation,” she said. “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to offer people who might otherwise feel isolated the chance to come together and enjoy the fellowship together. We put on a variety of activities to make it accessible for everyone, and there is something that everyone can do. One woman told me she hadn’t enjoyed herself so much in a long time and that she’d laughed so hard she nearly had to pick her teeth up from the floor. Another said she came not knowing anyone but soon felt part of the family It’s been such a success, the guests who came this time are already asking when the next one will be!”
There was a real buzz in the church with plenty of chatting as well as concentrating on activities. Among those attending was Romola Harper who was particularly skilled at 10-pin bowling on the Nintendo Wii. “You’ve got to help your brain keep active,” she said. “It is so good to be here. All these people who would otherwise be stuck at home alone are together communicating with each other.”
The Diocese of Winchester supports lots of different community activities for young and old over the summer months. If you would like to find out what’s going on near you contact your local church visit www.winchester.anglican.org.