God gave me an opportunity to lead a dementia friendly cafe in my local communit

First published on: 17th May 2018

 “I have been a Christian all my life and have attended St James with St Thomas' church since I was 2 years old. Where ever I have been on my faith journey I have always wanted it to mean more and as such, I have been an active member of my church for some time particularly involved in fundraising and doing the job of PCC secretary.  Recently, I felt that God was moving me in another direction. I can say I know it was God because He wouldn't let me settle to anything until I acknowledged what He had started to do in my life.

God gave me an opportunity to lead a dementia-friendly cafe in my local community. I received a leaflet from Wigan Council inviting me to apply for funds in order to set one up. I felt really excited about this and went ahead and applied and won. This was a dementia-friendly cafe that could be so much more than a cafe. I knew as a worshipping community we had a lot to offer spiritually, practically and socially. The cafe is a huge success.  It meets twice a month and attracts an average of 30-40 people.  We keep Jesus at the heart of what we do, some good advice from Bishop Cyril and my husband was to do this well. We have a fantastic cafe which I love being involved in. This was my God-given cafe.

I have now started a dementia friendly community choir in my local community that is aimed at helping those with early onset dementia. If this is as successful as the cafe then I will be doubly blessed.
By discerning what God was saying to me I have seen the fruits of this mission. Those living with dementia in my cafe have shown me how the Holy Spirit can cut right through dementia to give us glimpses of God at work. A great example of this was when we met during Valentine's week.  We had a quiz with famous couples on and the usual tea and cake. We finished the meeting by reading 1 Cor V 13, they thought it was brilliant and burst into spontaneous applause.  I thank God He called me to this ministry it is so rewarding and fulfilling. I am privileged to be at the helm.

Perhaps for me, the biggest Spiritual challenge I face is deciding where I invest my new found energy.  I have many ideas on how to be a bigger church but don't have the capacity.  In order to do the job I have been tasked with, I need to stay focused on Lifelines and stop thinking I can do everything! 

In being made Local Missional Leader, it's been wonderful to be recognised for the work I do with those living with Dementia.  I love this mission work I do and there is now a responsibility for me in my new role to care for them.  The recognition I have has only confirmed for me what I already knew and that it that this was a gift from God to me.  I will feel forever privileged and humbled to be part of this wonderful ministry and I thank God every day that He chose this for me.”


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