Embracing Warmth - A Personal Journey by Bryan

March 2024
Explore the empowering account of Bryan, a 75-year-old member of our Warm Welcome community, as he reflects on the transformative impact of Coffee, Cake and Chat mornings at St. Andrew’s Church, Saxthorpe. Amidst the challenges of living with Parkinson's, Bryan found genuine connections in the embrace of his Warm Space. Here is his story:

First, a bit about me. I’m 75 years old. Retired. I worked as a potter in the second half of my life and travelled all over Europe for many years selling my products, very special pots for Bonsai trees. I also taught Bonsai and ceramics and have been to Japan.

After 40 years of living in Corpusty / Saxthorpe village, I was introduced to the Coffee Cake and Chat mornings that have started up in our village church, St Andrews.

I’d lived here 40 years, and I hadn’t been inside the church. I always have plenty of my own projects to work on. But even so, I was feeling fairly lonely during the days as I live alone. So, I took up the offer from my neighbour to go along to the coffee and cake morning.

Saint Andrews is a lovely old church that hasn’t really been changed very much over the years. It has a lovely atmosphere, and things are left a little bit unfinished, which feels good. Not just show.

It was warm and very pleasant to just sit and watch. Which is helpful because as I now have Parkinson’s Disease I don’t do much running.

It is a group of older people, children, mothers, local farm workers retired, everyone. There was a background sound of lots of people catching up with each other. People just came around and talked to me, asked me what I did. And, of course, I notice some of them from when I was walking around the village and now whenever we meet, we have something to say to each other. I feel much more part of the community. I feel that others feel it too. I think it’s important that people find these local groups to work with. Find friends. Work together.

Because I have Parkinson’s disease this limits the number of things I can do. My regular friends are working. It has been very pleasurable to meet these local people who are like new friends for me.

It’s good that old buildings are being used again.

It feels good that people are getting together like in the old village days.

Older people can be helped to have a fuller life.

It seems that there is a stronger movement these days, since Covid, to change things.

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