Lesley Strafford, Registered Care Manager at Emmaus House in Harrogate, enjoyed a chat with Annie, learning about her past

When Emmaus House celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, our resident Annie was proud to receive a special letter from Stephen Hammersley, Chief Executive of Pilgrims’ Friend Society, for being the resident who has been here the longest. She now has this framed on her wall.

Let me tell you about Annie. She was born on a dairy farm near Harrogate that had no electricity, gas or running water. During the war, when she was 14, Annie tended to the poultry to help her struggling parents. A few years later she began to suffer depression, and this went on for many years which meant a lot of hospitalisation.  

Several years later Annie went to work for the British Lending Library in Boston Spa. She was responsible for packing books and maps and one day even got to hold the original Magna Carta before it was dispatched to the museum! Annie loved that job. She then took early retirement to look after her mother.

When her mother went to the Lord, Annie lived on her own for a while but was eventually admitted to a care home in Leeds due to being unwell. However, as Annie’s faith has always meant a lot to her she came to Emmaus House where she can be with other Christians and where there is regular prayer and worship. I asked Annie what Emmaus House means to her. She said, “I love living here. Everyone is so kind and I am well looked after. Here, I feel the presence of God and that is all I need. I am content. This is my home.”

This feature first appeared in The Pilgrims' Magazine Summer 2020

Find out more about life at Emmaus House