Every couple of weeks we have the immense privilege of sharing our time as a church with some of the residents in Penclawdd nursing home. These visits are undertaken by a couple in the church who live locally to the home and who know many of the residents personally. Jon and Kathleen spend an hour or so during each visit talking with those in care, sharing stories, and generally showing kindness by taking an interest in their lives. Occasionally other members of the church will accompany Jon and Kathleen and every month the we hold a mini church service in the home which is open to those residents and staff who want to come along. The staff at the home are superb in facilitating the visits and appreciate the love which is demonstrated each time we go.
During a typical service we will sing old hymns and songs which are known off by heart by many of the residents and Kathleen plays the piano to accompany. Either Steve or Sam will read part of the bible and then give a brief 10 minute talk explaining what was read. As many of the residents grew up in churches and chapels around South Wales, they often know the bible stories well. We also offer to read and pray for the individuals and their families and sometimes just sit with them to keep them company.
It is sometimes true that western society doesn't honour or care for the elderly as well as other parts of the world. Often people treat the elderly as a nuisance or an inconvenience. God has a completely different view of those who are Older and we want to model that to the world around us. In the bible (Isaiah 46 v 4) God says - "Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. God is massively compassionate towards those who are old and we want to be the same.
We thoroughly enjoy serving our local community by loving the elderly and it is our hope that in the years to come churches will be able to show the same kindness to us as we grow old.