The rising levels of utility bills are presenting our churches with opportunities we have been slow to take up in the past. Our little group of three rural chapels has joined together with two more little chapels, which do not have their own minister, to share services – initially during the winter months. We are now working out the logistics of services moving around the chapels, and of sharing transport: it may prove a significant decision. This gives us new opportunities to get to know each other better, to support each other and to maintain a Christian presence in our communities.
As over 90% of our congregations are of mature years themselves, we are more able to be aware of the needs of the older people in those communities and to respond wherever possible: anxiety over the cost of living is just one issue. Since becoming an Anna Chaplain – offering spiritual care in later life – I have been very aware that I am only touching the tip of the iceberg and that there are so many older people who need someone to talk to and to listen to their concerns, and who still have so much to give.
Over the coming weeks I am hoping to enthuse people to share in the privilege of walking alongside the most amazing people in their old age, who often have wonderful stories to tell; stories of resilience, humour and hope. This deep connection, of fellowship and mutual support on life’s journey, is what will keep us ‘warm’ this winter.
The cold reality of increased levels of heating bills can open up the warmth of surprising blessings.
Rev Maggie Rich, Montgomeryshire