When I started my role originally as Youth and Family Worker back in 2012, my daughters were then six and nine had recently lost both their paternal and maternal grandfathers due to ill-health.
Like others, the girls both attended primary school, went to after school clubs such as Brownies and Gymnastics and were (and still are) blessed with many family friends who they saw regularly.
However there was a void. ‘Grandad’ and ‘Gramps’ used to listen to them read, make paper aeroplanes with them and teach them to ride their bikes in the park.
It was only through being part of the church family, they had similar role models to share their experiences and wisdom. I remember one member of the church spending every afternoon of holiday club patiently assisting with crafts and another, a retired scientist keenly helping with chemistry homework.
Some of you will have seen the television series Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds a moving and enlightening look at relationships between the very young and the very old and the obvious benefits they bring.
Recently I have been studying Intergenerational Church and how vital these experiences are for both young and old and indeed anyone in between from any background, embracing people from different backgrounds and their own different versions of ‘Family’.
In today’s society of social media, texting and email, churches still thrive on physical presence and interaction, communities of faith that share God’s love with one another and the wider world. Celebrating with vibrance and fellowship.
Church is not just about turning up on a Sunday for an hour, but about being part of something wholesome and life giving, about sharing the good times and the bad, about being loved and supported for who we are, warts and all.
There are many Churches in Wokingham, all offering something slightly different and we are blessed to be part of a community of Churches together in Wokingham with a common aim to fill our town with hospitality and love.
We all offer many diverse activities throughout the week and would be thrilled to welcome those with or without a faith and share hospitality and caring.
In our Church one of our regular activities is our Café, Café Mosaic which is open Tuesday-Saturday mornings.
We will soon have our very own Mosaic sculpture mounted on the front of our building overlooking Peach Place, we would love to tell you all about it and what it means to us and how all of the pieces are different.
Claire Knight is the Church and Community Outreach Team Leader of Wokingham Methodist Church, writing on behalf of Wokingham Methodist Church