How those living across our communities joined in with this special week
During our Prayer Week 2020, 7th-13th June, we united in prayer with and for older people. To help us focus on the big issues affecting older people, we created a special resource, sent to our supporters, homes and housing schemes, and available to download from our website. It was hugely encouraging time, with many of our homes and housing schemes joining in and sharing their prayers via their Facebook pages. Here are some of the highlights...
Florence House in Peterborough started the week with an Anti-loneliness Club. They then celebrated members of their community with the first ever Florence House Achievement Awards, recognising authors, nurses and service men and women who have shaped the world we know today. Find out more here.
At Framland, our home in Wantage, staff recorded the prayers of their residents. One lady prayed, "Dear Lord, the virus has killed so many people and destroyed the lives of many others. We pray that you'll reach out to people everywhere and take away the virus and give everybody the chance to reach out and be safe, in Jesus' name, Amen." Another prayed, "for everybody who feels lonely today", reflecting "we've all had great loss and great gains... in our lives." Watch the videos here.
At Luff House in Walton-on-the-Naze, a staff member asked Ivy about her favourite prayers. She smiled and said, "Well the Lord's Prayer will always be my favourite as it was the first prayer that I learnt when I was just five years old. It's important because it is the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples."
Luff House also shared the link to devotions led by Reverend Andrew Openshaw from Homelands Church. Unable to visit as usual, Andrew recorded a meditation for Prayer Week on 1 Corinthians 13:12-13, praying that those living at Luff might know a hope for the future, looking to the Lord in faith, receiving His love, freely given, sharing it with all they meet. Watch the video here.Bethany Christian Home in Plymouth created a beautiful prayer tree, where the blossoms were for prayers for thanks and the leaves were for prayer requests. See more here.
At Pilgrim Gardens, prayers were shared on a special Prayer Board. David, who lives at the scheme, took the opportunity to pray for the Lord's blessing on the work of Manager Mandy Smith. Margaret, who also lives at Pilgrim Gardens, asked that as a result of the pandemic people all over the world in great numbers would be seeking and finding the Lord; that those in Pilgrim Gardens and at the nearby Evington Home would grow in the knowledge of God, through the pandemic; and that the Prime Minister would acknowledge and respond positively to a letter sent to him by local Christians, urging him to call a National Day of Prayer. See more here.
For the first time, we invited our supporters to join us on Zoom each morning for a Prayer Week prayer meeting. Thank you to everyone who was able to be part of this.
We were also delighted to receive coverage of Prayer Week 2020 by the media, giving us the opportunity to highlight the needs of older people in the UK to a wider audience. Our Chief Executive Stephen Hammersley was interviewed by TWR (watch the interview here) and also appeared on Premier (listen again here). An article by Alexandra Davis, our Director of Marketing and Communications, highlighting the value of older people, was featured by Christian Today.
On our own website, we featured blogs focusing on different issues that affect older people, welcoming guest writers such as Jeremy Sharpe from Linking Lives UK, Carl Knightly from Faith in Later Life and Philip Martin from Keychange. You can read them all here.