For the fourth year running, members of Yateley Baptist Church organised an event for elderly folk in our community who have little opportunity for a holiday of their own.
We collected our guests each morning from home and had coffee before we began our structured programme of activities. Given that in 2017 we have been celebrating Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday, our theme this year was ‘Memories’, thinking of the war and post-war years — the 1940s-1950s (Vera Lynn period).
On Tuesday, this included making paper lanterns, a quiz, and illustrated talks — ‘Toys for boys’ — which included displays of a fort, soldiers, ships, vintage vehicles and meccano sets. After lunch, we took them to Hedgecroft Sheltered Housing in Yateley, where we joined some of the residents for a short service.
On Wednesday morning, we had a ‘Nostalgia hour’, where we had additional displays of books and items from the period, when some of the folk took the opportunity to share their memories as we reminisced together. Afterwards, we took them to the Avenue Garden Centre in Lasham, near Alton, giving them lunch and time to browse before taking them home.
On Thursday after coffee, we had a very noisy and exciting ‘beetle drive’, after which we were entertained by friends from Bracknell, Michael, Jenny and Dennis. These shared some amusing stories and encouraged us to sing along with them to well-known patriotic songs.
After lunch, our pastor, Andrew, and his wife Catherine gave us an evocative presentation of events in the life of Dame Vera, finishing with a short gospel message using Vera’s famous song ‘We’ll meet again’ as an illustration. In good British tradition, to round off the three days, we had our own indoor street party with scones, jam and cream, and cakes.
The effort and work involved in holding these events is more than compensated for by the appreciation and gratitude so often expressed by our guests, as we seek to demonstrate Christianity in action.
Yateley Baptist Church